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

Project Update: Queensland Institute of Medical Research

QIMR Herston Rd Entrance

Transforming an existing medical research facility in Herston, QLD to align with the surrounding complex.

Queensland Institute of Medical Research Phase 3, or QIMR ph. 3, is the refurbishment of the Bancroft Centre. It is located just outside Brisbane’s CBD next to the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital.

The Bancroft Centre, owned by QIMR  is contracted to be built by Watpac. The project is designed by a joint architectural venture between Wilson and Wardle architects.

G.James’ Role

This project initiated as a design and documentation contract, in which G.James were required to advise and recommend the design of glazing works, survey the existing building and detail the information via formal drawings. Due to the positive contributions and coordination of this aspect of the project, G.James were awarded stage 2 – the supply and install of the glazing works.

The Bancroft Centre

The Bancroft Centre is a 14 storey concrete building with feature beams and columns criss crossing the building dividing up the individual windows and balconies spread across the elevations. At ground level, a large lobby window and sub station louvre is also part of the upgrade.

The medical research undertaken at the centre is highly sensitive. In the pursuit of the solutions being investigated, the building will be partially occupied by the client throughout the construction process. This will affect parts or entire floors at different stages. Close coordination of on site works, monitoring clients requirements and ensuring safety for all, dictates progress.

External Refurbish

The basic concrete structure remains, with the southern concrete face being removed and extended out towards Herston Road. The extensions are supported by a grid work of steel with concrete platforms. The face lift is to extend down the western side to the existing balconies and on the eastern side to the recently erected QIMR central building.

The architectural intent is to create a look that reflects the existing Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre (CBCRC) located on the other side of the QIMR central building. To do this:

  • The main façade on the curtain wall is being replicated as much as possible.
  • The visible rendered sheer walls are being covered with Alpolic cladding to wrap around to the front of the balconies and underside of the soffits in a similar fashion to the CBCRC building.
  • Glazing in the balconies and lobby were replaced to reflect the more natural colour scheme and full height layout of the CBCRC.
  • Louvres are being modernised and/or introduced to cope with the needs of the buildings updated research capacity, the design of which is in keeping with the other QIMR buildings.

G.James has followed stringent processing and approval of the glazing samples and design to ensure these principles are followed adequately.

Design: Energy and Acoustic Efficiency

Renovations on old buildings require them to be upgraded to meet the latest energy efficient guidelines. To accomplish this, the Bancroft refurbishment required higher performing windows than the original.  Another important design element to consider was that the Bancroft Centre is situated at what is now one of Brisbane’s busiest intersections.

Fronting onto Herston Road, a stones throw from Bowen Bridge Road, bus ways and the Inner City Bypass, shows the heightened necessity for acoustic protection.

The main curtain wall façade utilises the 651 series with highly efficient IGU’s made from Solarplus engineered glass with an acoustic laminate internally to assist with noise deadening. The visible features of the curtain wall replicate that of its neighbour providing a plaid pattern of greens and silver that provide the desired sister building effect.

The balconies use 450 framing with 475 door systems for the balconies’ hinged and sliding doors. A custom solution was introduced with laminated glass incorporating a thick 1.14mm acoustic laminate and energy tech inner lite working together for maximum efficiency and sound protection.

An environmental advantage to being involved in the design of the cladding, minimised the wastage by designing the cladding widths to suit what was commercially available. Approximately 85% of the panels could be made to their natural width.

Unusual Design Elements

The lobby or main entry spans a height of two stories. It has concrete features penetrating through the facade. This required some innovative design to incorporate these obstacles while maintaining the ability to replace the existing framing in a short turn around of a week. 650 framing was used in the lobby to achieve this.

The curtain wall is usually lifted into place by a mini crane positioned on the building.  It is dedicated to the curtain wall install.  On QIMR however, a tower crane had been fitted on site to accommodate phase 2 construction, and is also being used for phase 3.  This meant that fixing the curtain wall had to be timed in between other site deliveries and other uses required of the crane.

This has been a unique project with G.James contributing very early in the design process to assist in setting our the buildings requirements for our own and adjacent works. The achievements so far have culminated with smooth progression though out the project with the mutual assistance and close coordination between Watpac and G.James.

Looking ahead

G.James role at the Bancroft Centre is to be finalised approximately mid 2013, and the entire project to be competed by mid 2014. Tours of the QIMR facilities are available to the public. You can book a tour on the QIMR website.

Our Bundaberg office gets a new façade

Our Bundaberg office has been transformed with the use of our latest colour printing on glass technology. Over the last few months we have covered the topic of digital ceramic glass printing several times on this website. Our Bundaberg office located at  49/51 Enterprise Street, Bundaberg was due for a refurbishment, so G.James decided to put our printing capabilities to use creating a vibrant new façade for the building.

The Bundaberg Branch

The Bundaberg Branch was established in 1972 and is where former branch manager Geoff Thorne started his career with G.James. When Geoff retired in August 2012 he reflected on his time at G.James saying “When I started at G.James, this building was the best looking building in the street. Now that I am retiring, the building is again the best looking in the street”.

The Branch is now managed by Robert Astill and continues to service Bundaberg, Wide Bay & southern sector of central QLD.

The transformation

G.James Bundaberg Branch (Before)

The old office building was in need of refurbishment after many years of use. The new sales office and showroom features a fully glazed façade with glass spandrels ceramic printed with a full colour representation of the lush sugar cane that is common in the Bundaberg region. The façade fits with the character of the area, and puts a striking face on our sales office. Sunshades were also installed above the vision glass around the building, to help keep the north facing building cool.

The process

The first step was to find a suitable image for the building. The Bundaberg staff were involved in selecting an image they would be happy to have on their office building. It was important to include the staff in the decision to make sure we created a building they were happy to tell friends and family about, as well as work in.

We selected the sugar cane image below, to be placed on a blue background.

Sugarcane Image

Source image: 68cm wide X 50cm high @ 300dpi (8024px X 5940px @ 300dpi) at full size

The next step was to modify the image to maximise the printed effect over multiple floors. We created a concept render to ensure the image wouldn’t appear too busy or overbearing.

Bundaberg Building Concept Render

47 panels of artwork in total, 15 of those were corner panels

After the concept was complete, the G.James team scaled the image file to suit the CAD drawing of the Façade. This resulted in a very large image file requiring a couple of powerful PCs to do the processing work.

Bundaberg Building CAD Drawing

Bundaberg Building CAD Drawing – The front of the facade is 16.48m x 6.40m, the sides are 5.11m x 6.40m

Image and CAD drawing combined

Image and CAD drawing combined.

Each panel that required printing was then identified. The vision glass panels were excluded and we printed on a total of 47 spandrel glass panels.

Talk of the town

The façade has already attracted significant attention from those passing by, and has transformed our sales office into an exciting and unique advertisement for our business.

Keep your eyes peeled for another exciting transformation in the new year – G.James Cairns.

Who to contact

To find out more, please visit our glass printing gallery, or contact G.James Glass Sales on  (07) 3877 2866. Our Bundaberg office can be reached on (07) 4155 4888.

Challenge: Heritage listed Stock Exchange Arcade refurbishment

Charters Towers Exterior

Charters Towers Stock Exchange

The Stock Exchange Arcade in Charter’s Towers began life as the ‘Royal Arcade’ in 1888, and was a mixed use building with retail & office space. A couple of years later it became home to the stock exchange which gave the building its present name.

This stock exchange was one of a number of regional exchanges in Australia, and was started to service the needs of the booming gold mining industry in the area. Eventually the mines ceased to be productive, and the stock exchange shut its doors in 1916.

The building has been heritage listed – it is notable for both its history and construction. Among its features is a glass canopy covering the tiled common space of the arcade. The arcade was acquired by the Charter’s Towers Council in 1971, and due to the disrepair the building had fallen into, a general restoration of the building was done in conjunction with the National Trust.

As part of the original restoration the glass canopy was replaced with a wired glass & aluminium framing system, which met glazing standards of the time. This had deteriorated over several decades, began to leak, and was generally in a poor state. Additionally the 6mm wire cast glass used in the canopy was not up to current safety standards, as wired glass is weaker than laminated glass and is much less safe if broken.

Charters Towers Stock Exchange RenovationFor the 3 month duration of the latest restoration project, G.James acted as the builder, programming all construction works. Given its heritage value, exceptional care was taken to avoid damage to the building throughout the works, particularly the tiled floor which had to support scaffolding for the roof refurbishment.

Charters Towers Stock Exchange RenovationThe old roof was removed and replaced with 12.38 mm translucent laminated glass, which was structurally glazed to the new aluminium frame. G.James’ 265 series fixed windows were used in the vertical section.

Whilst this modern glazing system is certainly different from the original, it is a subtle enhancement, and elements such as the existing wrought iron and timber roof framing serve to seamlessly blend the new with the old.

This project was undertaken for the National Trust of Queensland.

Who to contact

To find out more, please visit our specialised glazing gallery, or contact G.James Glass Contracting on (07) 3877 2225.

Commercial Refurbishment: Modernise Your Façade

BankWest Townsville Before After

A quick way to modernise an old office building is to refurbish the façade. Refurbishing a façade to take in the latest energy requirements and design practices not only looks great, but can drastically increase the value and appeal of a building.

A facelift for Bankwest, Townsville

Located on Denham street in Townsville, the Bankwest building has recently undergone significant refurbishment. Originally known as Melton Place, construction on the building was finished in 1982.

As part of the refurbishment, G.James were contracted to design, supply and install a new glazing façade to the existing 7 storey building.  A major consideration in the removal of the existing glazing and replacement with a new glazing façade was water penetration problems with the existing stick system curtain wall.

The challenge: a 90º sunshade on a 135º corner

One of the prominent features of the building is a 135º south facing corner.

Nettleton Tribe Architects‘ vision was to incorporate a 90º sunshade on the corner to create a striking visual feature, but due to the geometry, the horizontal sun shading system would have a projection from the glass of up to 2 metres.

Designing the supporting structure to withstand a maintenance worker at a 2 metre cantilever from the glazing was a challenge in itself, but the location of the building in Australia’s cyclonic region brought the additional requirement for the sun shades to resist high uplift wind loads.

In spite of these challenges, we were able to design a sunshade which satisfied both the aesthetic and strength requirements of this project.

Avoid leaks at all cost

Due to the sensitivity of the building to previous water leaks, we engineered a solution which ensured there were no penetrations through the new façade for the support of the sun shading.

The horizontal sun shades were designed to be supported by minimalist structure fixed to the glazing framing outside the rain-screen line of the new glazing system, preventing any penetration through the façade. The tension-member truss supporting the sun shade corner was designed sympathetic to the expansion joints which occur at every floor level to ensure building movements can be accommodated for.

The building was occupied during the facade replacement so there was a need to minimise disruption to the tenants. Due to the geometry and fixing method of the existing façade, we executed a top-down  floor by floor demolition, and installed the new façade as we went.

The finished façade not only greatly improved weather resistance, but also gave the older building a fresh and modern look.

This project was a collaboration between G.James’ local Townsville branch and our  Commercial Façades division.

Images courtesy of Architects: Nettleton Tribe Architects.