Brisbane Metro station design competition

Aspiring architects have submitted their designs for the new Brisbane Metro Cultural Centre station, and the public is invited to vote for one of the 12 finalists for the People’s Choice. Bel on Wheels gives her review and recommendations, based on – you guessed it – practical features such as bicycle parking!

1A1A is the only entry to specifically mention bike parking, with a note about a new bike storage facility and an image indicating that would be indoors. That immediately makes it a candidate. It also includes images of green bike lanes on Grey St, and some (male) figures on bikes.

2G puts cars back in the picture, and shows a stacked car parking system for Qld Railways Staff. I can’t help thinking that if staff parking is necessary at the convergence of Brisbane’s major transport routes, something is very wrong. Crafts are nice, but I won’t vote for this one!

3C shows lots of greenery and no cars, so that’s good. It has some nice lines, and talks about the nature of human movement and the act of being in transit – but the humans are shadowy figures, and none of them are on wheels.

3G With its water theme, I hope this doesn’t to pre-empt the next great Brisbane River flood which puts South Bank under water. Fortunately it also hints at life-preservation systems like coffee, wifi, and music. But no bikes ☹

4H has some pleasing shapes, and conjures up good images of light, breeze and greenery. No bikes, but it does hint at public toilets which are actually possible to find, so I’ll give points for that!

5D Yay, bikes!! Possibly even dockless share bikes going by the casual lean of one which appears to be parked on the road. There’s a bloke riding upright and without a helmet, which I also like. The images also show a person in a wheelchair, and a couple of people towing luggage. I like the thinking which has gone into this design, so am rating it highly.


6 Has some funky shapes, and is a little reminiscent of Melbourne’s Federation Square. The designer evokes playground images (or perhaps someone falling down an escalator), but then show clusters of young adults. I learned a new word: glulam. I’m not sure I like it.

6E Looks a bit brutalist – which does match the existing Cultural Centre architecture. Perhaps it shows the next dust storm, or when Brisbane’s traffic smog becomes chokingly visible? The shadows acknowledge our beating summer sun, but they haven’t really dealt with it. However they have shown a person on a bike, and some suggested bikelanes (with trees in them). Plus toilets feature prominently, so again, they score points for practicality.

7A Provides a very personal view of the Cultural Centre station, reminding us what adventures feel like as a kid, and that public transport hubs can be really important social spaces growing up. The proposal is a bit light on details, but there are images of people of all ages, including happy people with bikes, and kids running without being threatened by cars, so I like this one. Vote for it!


7B Another entry with a painted bike lane. But no-one’s riding in it, and the vehicles look like they’re encroaching. That’s just a bit too realistic to be inspiring, so I’m not rating this design – even though the shade, palm trees, and hot air balloon are nice touches.

8 I like that this has a high-line type connection linking through to Fish Lane, and what looks like a variety of public spaces with plenty of greenery. I love the jacaranda trees, so was a bit sad to dismiss this for lack of bikes until I noticed a tiny silhouette in the bottom corner which saved it for me.

9 This person has a practical mind. They’ve included bollards (which seem to be a sad necessity), and mentioned public toilets. There’s not much for me to get excited about until I spotted mention of lockers. You got me interested at lockers!

The verdict:

My top picks are 5D, 7A, or 1A. But don’t take my word for it! See for yourself, and cast your vote at

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