Project focus: ABC Brisbane HQ

The Project

Opened in April by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce, the new ABC Headquarters is a fitting addition to Brisbane’s Southbank. Designed by Richard Kirk Architects, and constructed by Leighton Contractors, the new headquarters has a 15,435sqm gross floor area, and stands four stories tall above ground, with a basement. The building has achieved a five star rating under the Green Star system. It presently hosts approximately 450 ABC staff, as well as members of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

The previous ABC headquarters was closed in December 2006 after a widely publicised (and still unexplained) breast cancer cluster. ABC staff spent the next several years working from a number of locations in Brisbane, the construction of this new facility re-unites them at a single location once again. Construction of the building wasn’t all smooth sailing – work was interrupted when the site was flooded in the floods of January 2011.


G.James was contracted to supply and install the Window wall, shop front and studio glazing and sun shades on the west face of the building. Most of glazing uses IGUs with Super Neutral 365 & Crystal Grey glass panels, to provide a clear view to the outside. The window wall was quite deeply recessed into the building in order to reduce the amount of direct sunlight entering. Internal blinds as well as the prominent external sunshade are also used to contol the large amount of light allowed to enter the building.

The studio at Northeast corner of the building features a frameless glass outer skin, using 12.38mm Optilight clear laminated glass, and suspended with steel bracket. There is an air way at the top and bottom for accoustic & thermal control. To satisfy acoustic requirements for the radio studio, all internal window wall frames were stuffed with insulation. The installation of studio outer skin was a particular challenge – the glass is held on just by the tip of the steel bracket and glass fin.

The glass wall above the main building entrance is another interestingly glazed feature. The wall was constructed using 50 mm x 200 mm aluminium box section with another T section bracketed to the concrete slab as framework. The IGUs used for this feature were site glazed.

Find out More

For more information on our commercial project capabilities, contact our commercial contracting division. Our monumental projects and louvre and sunshade photo galleries may also be of interest.

Glass Printing: Make a Permanent Impression

Printing Images on Glass Façades

Glass has been used for both decorative and functional purposes for much of history; the forms and techniques used have changed with our technological advances.

The ancient Romans and Egyptians created decorative but functional objects such as cups and vases from glass. Cathedrals have used stained glass windows for both light and decoration for more than a millennium. A somewhat more modern innovation is digital ceramic printing directly onto glass – and G.James are pleased to be able to offer this new medium.

What sort of applications I can use printed glass in?

  • Balustrading  – Yes. Printed glass would be suitable in this application as standard furnaced PVB (Polyvinyl butyral) laminate if edges are protected, printing to surface #2 (the inner/interior surface) or with an SGP (SentryGlas®Plus) interlayer with unprotected edges, printing to surface #2.
  • Windows  – Yes, with ceramic printing to the inside or in a laminate as above.
  • Awnings  – Yes. A heat strengthened laminate with PVB and SGP is recommended. Monolithic printed glass is not suitable for this application.
  • Splashbacks  – Yes, when combined with two-pack paint backing to obscure the wall behind.
  • Office Partitions  – Yes, as a furnaced laminate only.
  • Reception areas/Feature walls – Yes. Care should be taken to co-ordinate the colour of the backing wall with the image and its density – a light image would require a neutral tone wall to stop any showthrough.
  • Pool Windows  – Yes, as a furnaced laminate printed to surface #2.
  • Signage  – Suitability of printed glass for this application would depend on the colours required. Laminate would be required for external applications, internal applications could use monolithic glass.
  • Building Façades  – Yes. Printed glass can be incorporated into an IGU and coated if necessary.

What does the printing process involve?

Digital images are run through a specialist software program that separates the image into colour layers available on the Colourlite Image system. The ink used has special ceramic pigments which give it its colour – these inks are lead and cadmium free. The Glassjet printer is a large flatbed printing set up.

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Revitalising a classic home with natural light

Our Gold Coast Branch has recently completed the renovation of a large architect designed home situated in the Gold Coast hinterland. The scope of the renovation focused on improving the use of natural light while also creating warmer, more appealing living and entertaining spaces.

The Renovation

The hinterland region has a mild climate in summer, and can get quite cold in winter. With this in mind, Solect® Clear laminated glass was specified on certain elevations. The Solect range of glass products offer high performance qualities in both solar control and light transmission.

Large fixed windows were installed to maximise the amount of natural light allowed into the home. The unusual shape of the building required custom framing to accomodate the rake of the roof.

Frameless Glass balustrading was used on the staircase, and clear laminated glass flooring on the upper landing to further aid the spread of light throughout the home.

Sliding doors were used to expand the living space of the home outside in good conditions, with awning windows above to allow for additional ventilation.

Industry Awarded

This stunning renovation has gained well deserved recognition from industry bodies having received the 2012 Glass & Aluminium Association of Queensland Award for the Best Use of Glass & Glazing – Residential and, more recently, the Australian Window Association’s 2012 award for the Best Use of Windows & Doors in a Residential Renovation.

Who was involved

The Architect responsible for the design of this major makeover was Paul Uhlmann, and the project was managed by Graeme Cameron Constructions.  The windows, doors and specialised glazing was supplied by the team at G.James Gold Coast.

Get In touch

G.James has the product range and experience to ensure your next project is an outstanding success. To find out more please contact your nearest branch.

Project Update: M&A

McLachlin & Ann
If you live in Brisbane and travel through Fortitude Valley you may have noticed the ongoing development on the Corner of Ann St & James St. Formerly home to a car dealership, Laing O’Rourke are developing three buildings on the site. The 13 storey commercial building featured in this article – designed by Rice Daubney Architects, as well as a mixed-use building and a residential tower.  The commercial building fronts on to Ann st, and G.James are currently working to install the building’s façade.

About the Façade

The coloured & grey panels on the lower levels of the building are glazed with ceramic painted glass. Above this the curtain wall features large IGU panels, and a unique “ribbon” sunshade solution designed by Rice Daubney & fabricated by G.James. G.James is also glazing the shopfronts for the ground floor retail space.

The sunshading is fabricated from perforated aluminium sheet, and supported on extruded aluminium framing which includes true curved extrusions. The horizontal to verical twists ribbon are curved in two axis.  The custom designed framing system incorporates G.James bespoke sunshade fixing detail which allows for support of the sunshades directly off the curtain wall panels.  All attachments of the sunshades to the facade occur outside the external rain-screen line, without any penetrations through the curtain wall panels – mitigating any potential water leaks to the façade.  G.James’ sunshade fixing detail enables easy removal & re-installation of the sunshading devices in the event of glass replacement.  The sunshade fixing detail’s rigid connection to the facade resists the imparted wind loads, and minimal diagonal bracing provides redundant support in the event of a maintenance abseiler standing on the sunshade.

The design of the building features a blade-wall on the tower – originally to be constructed from pre-cast concrete. Design and construction issues however meant that a non-traditional approach was more optimal – G.James developed an engineered solution for the feature blade wall in lightweight composite-aluminium clad panels that cantilever outside the facade by a projection of approximately two and a half metres, and continues up the full height of the tower.

Behind the Scenes

G.James have been working intensively with the Architect, Rice Daubney, to try to turn their vision into reality well before we began work on site. Since September 2011 there have been multiple, full-scale, visual mock-ups prepared by G.James on this project, working closely with the Architects to ensure the fine detailing is achieved.

Check Back for Updates

G.James is continuing to work on the façade, completion of the project is expected to be in early 2013. G.James is also working on the two other buildings in the development – the mixed use building & residential tower, so check back for more updates as the development progresses.

Find out More

For more information on our commercial project capabilities, contact our commercial contracting division. Our monumental projects and louvre and sunshade photo galleries may also be of interest.

Beautiful Brisbane

Spectacular Brisbane Skyline

Spectacular Brisbane Skyline

On a cloudless winter day our river city is looking spectacular.

A few Facts about Brisbane

Brisbane, established in 1824, is named after the river on which it sits, which, in turn, was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825.

Brisbane has played host to large scale cultural and sporting events.

  • In 1982 the Commonwealth Games were opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, at Brisbane’s QEII Stadium,
  • the World’s Fair was held in many locations across the city and was dubbed “World Expo ’88 – Leisure in the Age of Technology”
  • and in 2001 the Goodwill Games held their last ever competition in Brisbane.

The Indigenous Peoples of Australia call refer to Brisbane as “Mian-Jin” or “Place shaped as a spike”. The spike reference no doubt relates to the fact that Brisbane is a hilly city. Brisbane, in fact, is just east of Australia’s most substantial mountain range (The Great Dividing Range).

Kangaroo Point Park

Kangaroo Point Park also features the new sculpture by Wolfgang Buttress called “Venus Rising”

Venus Rising

Venus Rising

Venus Rising was installed at Kangaroo Point Park on 19 January 2012. The artist and engineers worked to create the best possible vision for this major sculpture, destined to become an iconic marker for Queensland. Its slender torpedo shape is based on the Fibonacci spiral. Illuminated from the base, Venus Rising is a visible marker on the Brisbane skyline. Although G.James did not play a role in this project it is an impressive artwork to form part of Brisbane. More information available on the artwork available here.

More photos taken today