217 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill
SATURDAY ONLY // 10am to 4pm Guided tours and general access
Atkinson and Conrad: Original building // Amalie Wright and Richard Buchanan: Studio 217
1927: Original building
Visitors will experience three spaces in the building: the top floor penthouse with panoramic views, one of the ground floor doctor’s rooms with timber paneled lobby, and Studio 217 an award winning small space refurbishment in the basement.
A Wickham Terrace landmark since its construction in 1927, Craigston was the city’s first high rise residential building, a symbol of progress in a time of rapid growth and improvement in Brisbane’s CBD.
It was the brainchild of Dr Sydney Fancourt McDonald (the first paediatrician within the UQ Faculty of Medicine), who introduced to Brisbane the concept of a co-operatively owned, multifunction office and residential block, comprising professional chambers on the ground floor and apartments above. It was built by a group of doctors, who had their consulting rooms on the ground floor, and private residences above. The building was controlled by a company, Craigston Ltd, of which McDonald was the first chairman. Each owner purchased shares in the company entitling them to ownership of their apartment.
Architect Arnold Conrad of prominent Brisbane firm Atkinson and Conrad designed Craigston in 1926 as the first reinforced concrete framed multistoried building in Brisbane. It was erected in 1927 by builder and engineer Walter Taylor, under the supervision of architect T B F Gargett. The completed building was eight storeys high with a basement car park and rooftop garden accessible by all tenants.
The exterior was designed in a popular contemporary style known as Spanish Mission, with rendered walls, ornamental gables, arches, cordova tiled roof and a corner tower. Floors contained a single large apartment each (except for floor 6 which was divided in two), and featured silky oak paneling and generous sized rooms.
When completed, Craigston was a landmark building with stunning views. Over time most of the floors have been subdivided into smaller apartments and all have undergone renovations. The former balconies were enclosed with windows shortly after the building’s completion. Despite being surrounded by more recent high-rise buildings, Craigston still stands out as an attractive example of elegant 1920s style.
Saturday Tour Times
10am to 4pm Guided tours
Tour tip and other info
Limited wheelchair access