Interactive Map: Building Brisbane

Brisbane construction projects by G.James Glass & Aluminium

Brisbane, being the location of our Head Office, sees many fine examples of G.James workmanship.   Here, we outline some of the biggest and best projects undertaken to showcase our capabilities in recent times.

The interactive map is designed so you can take a tour of some of our most recent and notable works.  Either at your desk looking out a CBD window, taking a stroll around town, and driving past a building or through an area you have always wanted to know more about.


G.James has contributed widely to what Brisbane looks like today.   There are buildings that have added to Brisbane’s sky line and to the diversity of looks and uses that are designed for the various parts of this fair city.  On some buildings, there are unique features that make them distinctive.  For example –

  • the ribbons of M&A,
  • the splash of red across the Australian Federal Police building,
  • the glass wall of Sir Samuel Griffith Centre,
  • the towering Aurora and Riparian plaza.

There are many buildings that have achieved the coveted green star energy efficient design,  some interesting artwork on glass designed by local artists – its worth a visit to the Anthropology Museum at UQ to see the ceramic printed window alone. Some of the buildings have specialised glass systems to suit the works being done, like the Translational Research Institute and the ABC headquarters.

There are projects that have altered the face of a tired old façade, so if you look at an old image of QIMR, you won’t recognize it.  And then theres the Suncorp Stadium which gives you a glimpse inside a place where state pride and competition is on the line.

The Interactive Map

The map is aimed to give you a glimpse into the depth the G.James knowledge base and provide an overview of the types of works that G.James is capable of.  It highlights projects done by various departments in the company, including:

  • Commercial departments
  • Residential departments
  • Gossi park and street furniture
  • Glass department

You can have a look at the map and plan out a scenic drive, or target specific jobs, or just get an idea of what we have produced, in your area.  As you can imagine, there are too many jobs to make this an all-inclusive list, but we aimed to include a range of jobs reflecting different styles and features.

A brief dossier on the project is included – a photo of what to look for, basic job data and links to further information on the project.  G.James can help you with any further information required for the jobs represented.

Explore Here…

Enjoy the exploration, and keep an eye on this space. Other areas will be released as our database of projects rolls out – Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, as well as other areas to be where you can find G.James fingerprints…

Until then, enjoy this insight into the River City.


 G.James Projects

 Gossi Designs

51 Alfred St – Efficiency in commercial design

51 Alfred St A green star accredited office block constructed in one of Brisbane’s growing commercial areas, 51 Alfred St comprises of a ground floor retail space with 8 levels of office space above.

51 Alfred St, Fortitude valley was constructed by Blackwatch Projects, to the design of Willis Greenhalgh Architects. The sustainable design intended to minimise its carbon footprint was a urban friendly solution to council and the community. It includes a smart foyer, featuring floor to ceiling full height glazing on two street frontages, and superb views to the city above level 2.

G.James Role

Development of the project went from initial “design in principle” early drawings to installation of the finalised glazing products. The project had a short time frame, and lead times for manufacture and installation had to be carefully managed.

The building incorporates shopfront glazing from ground floor to level 1 that used the 850-500 and 650-500 series framing systems. Hinged doors are 475 or 476 series, with 445 series sliding doors (as on some upper levels, also). G.James picked up the cladding package for the ground floor columns, which was made and fitted by the G.James Joinery department. QuickAlly, G.James scaffolding division assisted with providing access to entry the shop front entry glazing.

Upper levels utilizes the 651-500 curtain wall suite. The design had to allow for the addition of randomly placed aluminium horizontal and vertical fins that use different shapes in keeping with the difference in direction. There are also composite cladding positioned irregularly across the southern face, and frames the edge of the eastern face.

All of the differences in cladding and sun shading incorporated into the curtain wall, made for a wide variety of specialist panels.  This required coordinating the transportation and installation of the panels to be highly organised. Careful design, preparation and on site works were given particular attention at the corner feature to achieve the seamless angled cladding and glazed finish that spans the full height of the buildings office area.

Glazing selection

IGU’s were used in the vision areas of the tower to combat city noise and provide sufficient thermal and solar efficiency to achieve the green star accreditation.

The spandrel area uses a colourlite backing on clear glass to achieve the opaque finish. Charcoal and White were used to keep in theme with the buildings monochromatic scheme that highlights the slash of copper that makes the corner feature stand out.


There was no tower crane available for this job, so all of the framing hoisted into the floors from a crane on the street below.  Including the “Spider Hulk”, the name of the lifting crane that positions the panels into place.

51 Alfred St

“Spider Hulk” is the name of the machine that lifts the panels into position on the building.

Early design intended the framing to be fixed into cast ins – a quick and minimal fixing method that utilizes the concrete structure to enclose and support the framing. Later changes, however, meant that the frame fixings were redesigned and engineered to be fitted with bolts into the concrete.

The ground floor was site glazed as the size of the glazing was so large. There was also a curtain wall panel that needed to be site glazed. This requires extra safety measures and some specialised techniques to carry out.

Blackwatch had a tight program which was run like clockwork. It enabled overall job satisfaction with the resulting installation of the work performed by G.James, and we look forward to working on further projects together.

Taree Courthouse – Glass Airlock

The completed sound reducing airlock structure.

G.James Taree has recently completed a small but complicated project – creating a sound reducing airlock around the entrance to Taree Courthouse.

The Problem

The courthouse was experiencing disturbance to court sessions, due to noise from outside the courtroom. People often congregate in the waiting area of the courthouse, which is directly in front of the courtroom. Every time the timber door of the court was opened, court microphones picked up outside noise, drowning out the court session and disrupting proceedings.

The Solution

G.James were engaged to create a glass airlock around the entrance, to eliminate the direct entry of sound into the courtroom. The existing glass roof and side panels were removed from the door structure, and replaced with larger ones that protruded 700mm further, to allow adequate clearance for operation of a frameless pivot door installed at the other end of the box. In total the airlock is 2700mm high x 2000mm wide x 2100 mm deep. The roof and wall panels are 13.52mm polar white toughened laminate, whilst the front is 12mm clear toughened laminate.


A number of factors added to the complexity of this project. Firstly, custom hardware had to be designed for the roof and front of the box, as no off-the-shelf fittings were suitable for this project. Close collaboration with Shearwater Marine resulted in four custom stainless steel brackets to fit the purpose.

Installation of the glass roof panel.

Space limitations in the work area also brought added difficulties. Simply transporting the glass into the building took the co-ordination of 6 men using pump up suckers and a small trolley. A custom brace had to be built with Acrow props and timber to remove the existing roof glass, and lift the new roof glass into place. Sucker machines which would regularly be used for such work were too large to fit into the timber structure.

Court sessions did not cease whilst G.James were onsite, so usual measuring equipment such as dumpy levels were unable to be used. Measurements and calculations for fixing holes in the glass were triple checked to ensure a good fit, however measurement inaccuracies due to the compromised setup meant carpet under the structure needed to be cut away to make the glass fit.

Work on site started smoothly, all existing glass was removed without incident. However when drilling for the installation of new glass began, the hammer drill used was making too much noise. The court session was disrupted, and work had to be halted to allow the court to function uninterrupted. To avoid further disruption, the pace of work was slowed and noisy aspects of the job were re-scheduled to take place in breaks and after-hours.

Working after-hours in the courthouse posed an additional complication, due to the sensitive nature of the court building.. Alarms and smoke detectors had to be disabled, and special permission had to be obtained to get after-hours access cards, as work was being carried out unsupervised.

Completing the structure took two very long days. Day one started at 8.30am and finished at 9.00pm and the second day ran from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.

The end result

The airlock is now in place, and working as designed. Where sound used to flood in, a significant reduction in noise has been achieved, allowing the court to function uninterrupted. G.James Taree were able to take on a complicated job like this, where many others in the area could not, as they were able to draw on the expertise and experience in our Glass Division interstate to assist in this job.

St. Leo’s College Entry Feature Awarded


Art in Architecture Prize, Australian Institute of Architects State Awards 2012

Ferrier Baudet Architects with Artist Lincoln Austin were this year’s winner in the Art and Architecture Category in the Australian Institute of Architects State Architecture Awards, announced on the 22nd of June in Brisbane. The work consists of a refurbished covered entry and entry foyer and the art work called “Correlate”.  The original aluminium framed glass wall and doors were replaced with an art work created by Lincoln Austin, and frameless glass entry doors. The commission brief for the art work asked that the artist come up with something that would ‘fit in’ with the existing architecture rather than compete with the architecture. The result is a three dimensional grid of cubes made up of glass and mirror in a stainless steel frame.

The work’s theme is ‘Relationship and Celebration’, being a celebration of the relationship which has bound the University and College over 93 years, a celebration of UQ’s Centenary year 2010 and symbolic of the healthy relationships which bind the St Leo’s community, giving it vitality and strength.


The work is an assemblage of individual units that together form a cohesive fabric. As the primary entrance into the college, the artist felt it was important to obstruct the view both into and out of the foyer as little as possible. Glass was the obvious choice of material that could provide the necessary protection from the weather and an uninterrupted view.

Frameless glass entry doors have been installed which virtually disappear, leaving the artwork to dominate the boundary between the outside and the inside.

The architects approached several glass manufacturers for this project, but the only company prepared to work on this unique installation was G.James Glass & Aluminium. The work was a true collaboration of architect, client, artist and fabricators and resulted in landmark artwork which will be enjoyed by many now and in the future.

The work received a $50,000.00 Art and Place Grant from the Queensland Arts Council – a Queensland Government initiative.

The Creative Process

The original concept by the artist Lincoln Austin did not specify how to implement the idea. Lincoln produced a small three dimensional model made from cardboard and plastic to demonstrate what was desired. From there, several meetings with the artist, architects and G.James arrived at a design based on 25mm stainless steel square tube with glass and back-to-back mirrors. G.James then produced a full sized sample of half a cube with a number of options for the alignment of the glass panels. The artist elected to have the glass centred in the stainless steel frame, so it would look the same from both faces.

Calculating the dimensions of the cubes, to ensure there would be even spacing in both horizontal and vertical dimensions was a particularly difficult process – this was only achieved with the addition of stainless steel plinths on the top and bottom of the structure.

The artist was a pleasure to work with, he had strong ideas and concepts, but readily accepted advice from G.James – particularly regarding the structural integrity and safety concerns we identified. The original concept was a frameless installation, utilising UV glue to hold the structure together. Unfortunately this concept posed a significant financial risk, as any damage that occurred to the glass would not be repairable – the whole structure would need to be scrapped and started again, as individual panels  in this configuration could not be replaced.

Installation Details

The construction of the stainless steel frame was contracted out to a third party. The stainless steel was welded in each corner, and then carefully polished so the welds would not be visible. This was a time consuming and costly process, so it had to be done right first time.

St Leo's College

The vision glass used in the cubes was 12.38mm clear laminate, while the mirrored faces were two pieces of 6mm annealed silver back-to-back. The combination of mirrors and clear glass gives a changing appearance as the entry is approached. From a distance most of the panels seen are the clear laminate allowing visibility through the structure. On closer approach, the viewing angle increases, and only the mirrored panels are seen – thus changing the view to a reflection of the outside.

Creating panels that were mirrored on both faces was one of the more challenging aspects of this project. This was achieved by cutting and edgeworking 6mm mirrors to the exact same size and then manually gluing the mirrors together. The mirrors and clear glass panels then had to be structurally glazed on all four edges to the stainless steel frame. Custom designed brackets were made to hold the glass in place until the silicone cured, the brackets were then removed and the silicone completed.

Due to the size, weight and fragility of the artwork, it was glazed onsite.

The frameless entry door was typical of many seen in shopfronts. It was made difficult however as the floor sloped up on the inside of the building (approximately 25mm over the length of each door). As the doors are opened in, this results in larger than normal gaps under the doors. The two doors also have a large sandblasted pattern on them with the logo of St Leo’s College.