Brisbane Open House
116 Brookes Street, Fortitude Valley
Saturday // 10am to 4pm
General access and guided tours

From a founding piece of architecture in Brisbane’s history and now to a cutting edge architectural studio, 116 Brookes Street has led a rich and adventurous life in the heart of Fortitude Valley.

In 1870, Architect James Cowlishaw designed a church to be erected on a site in Ann Street that had been granted to the Wesleyan Church by the Crown in 1861. It was the first church to be erected in Fortitude Valle and could seat up to 400 people. By 1886, the population of the Valley, as well as the Wesleyan congregation had increased considerably and it was decided that another church was to be built on the same site, with the current church retained as a hall. This Church was designed by George Simkin and constructed by Blair Cunningham for £4,941.00.

The church assisted in the growth and development of Fortitude Valley, continuing service for almost 100 years when it closed after the establishment of the Uniting Church, with a final service held 27 February 1977.  After this, the site was rented until it was sold by the Church in 1985 to the Royal Geographical Society. Since then, the Church has been used for commercial purposes.
In 2006, James Russell Architects restored the church and converted the hall into a residential house, winning a multitude of architectural awards for his efforts.

In 2018, BSPN Architecture took over the lease of the church with a brand new open plan fit out, giving new life and respect to this heritage listed beauty.

Tour Information

Saturday Guided Tours
Times: 11am, 1pm, 3pm

Tour Tips

Limited wheelchair access

Additional Activities

3D Printer and virtual reality headset demonstrations


AIA National Robin Boyd Award Commendation // 2006 DIA National High Commendation // 2006 AIA State Robin Dodds Award // 2006 AIA State Award // 2006 AIA Regional Commendation // 2006 IDEA National Residential Runner Up


BSPN Architecture

1870: James Cowlishaw // 1886: George Simkin // 2006: James Russell