The bespoke, sophisticated Brisbane development, Banc, where the wine cellar does the talking.
It’s not every day that your fantasy apartment is realised. When your lofty list of must-haves includes one of those fancy lifts that opens right into your home, a place dedicated solely to the drinking of wine, a podium-level-infinity-edge pool, and a location that delivers the perfect balance of action and retreat, you kind of know that you’re asking a bit. And yet here it is. Banc. A super luxury riverfront tower on Coronation Drive by prestige residential developer and chief wish-granter, Ideal Property Australia. The two-tower Banc development will fill a hole on Coronation Drive as the last infill site in the precinct. So essentially, it will become the chocolatey morsel that they pour into the end of the Cornetto cone.
Usually it is at this point when the residents of the surrounding and existing apartments kick up a stink about their blocked views and the jarring design of the new-comer; but Banc is harmony defined. Banc has been designed by multi-award-winning WMK Architecture, and Director of Practice, Russell Grady, is a friend to thy neighbour. To begin with, he incorporated a single-level entry and basement carpark to present a homogenous and consistent street frontage to Coronation Drive. “The site has been purposefully under developed to appeal to its own exclusive market but also to lessen any loss of amenity to its neighbours,” Mr Grady said. Perhaps Sunland and its controversial 25-floor champagne flute towers should take note.
But enough about what the neighbours get, what do future Bancers get? Traditionally, apartment dwellers get to sacrifice space, share space, and constantly try to make more space. But Banc is ultra high-end, and high-end is by definition exclusive. There are only 33 units across 15 levels at Banc so even the space has space. “The feeling is that Banc will get a lot of people who are looking to downsize from places like Pullenvale,” Mr Grady said. “People who will sell their acreage when the kids have moved out, and they’re still executives in the city so they want to move closer; but the place still has to be large enough that they can maintain the lifestyle that they had. Rather than trying to drag 200 units into the site, it was better to stick to a lower yield and a much higher quality product.” As a result, the 15-level tower will feature a range of floorplans ranging in size from 105sqm up to a massive 455sqm (I’ll tell you about the Sky Mansion in a bit), all offering panoramic river and city views.
Mr Grady nailed the fantasy apartment description again when he said Banc “will offer the openness and expansiveness of the Brisbane River, while still providing the solitude and shelter of its banks”. Want to know how they will do it? With a lift that opens straight into your apartment! “We tried to adopt a different model whereby you would come out of the lift and enter directly into your unit. The ultimate luxury. This also creates a secondary area in the house that becomes a multi-purpose room. Coronation Drive is out there and exposed and while you have great views we wanted to also give people a retreat if they want to get away from being exposed. That new area formed the heart of the unit which everything else then wrapped around.”
Creating this “ultimate luxury” brought with it the greatest challenge faced by Mr Grady and his team of architects. “We were essentially creating a whole new product type – an apartment building, split into two towers, with direct lift access to every apartment. Normally you get out of the lift and enter into a lobby with doors to 12 different apartment. The challenge was in getting everyone’s head into what we were trying to create and away from the stock standard. We had to convince everyone to take that leap with us.” And thank-goodness everyone leapt, because Banc is now one of the only boutique offerings of this type in Brisbane.
To give you the rundown on your selection of swanky apartments, at podium level there are two Garden Homes, each featuring three bedrooms, two living rooms, 12-metre frontages and exclusive access to large private gardens and outdoor living spaces. Above on levels two to five are 12 River Homes comprising a selection of two and three bedroom apartments and with views across the river. Eighteen Sky Homes will span levels six to 14 – all configured only two per floor – and each boasting three bedrooms, two living rooms, butler’s pantry, a 34sqm terrace and 12-metre frontage with stunning vistas of the city.
Then there is the Sky Mansion. This is the fantasy. This is the one you want. This palatial residence is a genuine full-floor penthouse customised precisely to your preferences. The apartment sprawls over 455sqm and offers five bedrooms, three living rooms and a study. That sounds pretty divine, but heck, throw in a library, not one but two 34sqm terraces, and a formal dining room too. Want panoramic views in all directions? You’ve got it.
Now that you know what your own private paradise offers up, let’s talk shared spaces. Stop one, the wine cellar and tasting room. Jump into the lift straight from your apartment, hit wine cellar, and be transported to your own world of wine-made wonders. Mr Grady even went so far as to sacrifice a few parking spots so that this show-stopper could be located in the basement of the building. He also made the clever decision to keep the cellar and tasting rooms separate. “We wanted to create this space that you could book out and have some wine tasting down there and it is separated from where all the wine would be stored. So if someone is rocking down at 2am in the morning in their pyjamas to get a bottle of wine, they’re not interrupting whatever function might be happening.” Mr Grady, you speak my language.
If you ever leave the wine cellar, my suggestion would be to head to your infinity-edge podium pool. Hungry? Try the accompanying barbecue terrace set amid lush sub-tropical gardens and cascading stair water features.
Even with all of this luxury, Mr Grady says it is Banc’s exoskeleton which tops his list of impressive features. “What we were trying to do was pick up on some of the language of the river. We’re near the truss styled bridges and then there is the Story Bridge and the ferry stops so what we’re trying to pick up is an external frame that wraps and embraced the building so even though you are 12 or 25 storeys up you will always have these arms wrapping around you. It has a nice rhythm to it and isn’t over the top but still gives a real identity to the building. The clients wanted it to be an iconic site.” Summed up in three words, Grady says Banc is sophisticated, elegant and uncompromised.
While I bow down to WMK for their phenomenal architecture at Banc, hats are most certainly off to interior magicians, SJB Interiors. The lobby is stunning with its elegant treatment of natural timber curved walls and a sunken stone lounge area. But, it is the apartment interiors that are the real winners. SJB director, Jonathan Richards, said the intent was to bring a whole new level of luxury and detail to apartment living in Brisbane, and they did this by providing variety. There are two finishes palettes to the interiors. My favourite makes the most of a soft aesthetic of sandy colours with natural textures and is punctuated with aged brass detailing. The other, and my other favourite, is characterised by cool grey tones and a striking dark charcoal kitchen. Both have a sumptuous richness of material and texture, and a balance of matte detailing with reflective metal highlights. The apartments are modern and chic while at all times maintaining a sense of homeliness.
In both schemes, the rough textural finishes are complemented with crisp elegant detailing of natural stone benches, timber ceilings, aged brass accents, mirrored surfaces and sophisticated kitchen joinery bedazzled with Gaggenau appliances. In Mr Richards’ words, it’s a classic contemporary style within a building of matching sophistication.
There will come a time when you have to leave your palace at Banc, even if just to go to work. This is when you will discover that the private residents’ foyer has direct pedestrian connection to Coronation Drive which provides immediate access to the Regatta Ferry Terminal, Riverside Bicentennial Bikeway and nearby Toowong Village’s cafes, restaurants and shopping.
If you’re still not sold, well here is the clincher– pets allowed.