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A Thoroughly Modern Hotel Steeped in History!

The Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is set to take its rightful place amongst Brisbane’s best and brightest when it reopens its heritage-listed doors in November this year.

  • Construction on the building (on the corner of George and Elizabeth Street) began in 1913 but slowed due to material shortages throughout World War I, finally reaching completion nine years later in 1922. And, on completion, was the first high rise government office building in the city; one of the first steel framed buildings in Brisbane and was one of the tallest buildings in the city.
  • It was considered exceptional from its infancy, particularly the ground floor banking chamber with its immense size, ionic columns, ornate ceiling, detailed cornices and marble finishes. This area functions as the hotel’s entry foyer and restaurant, extending its place in history as a grand public space.
  • From 1925 until 1942, the building’s top floor housed Queensland’s first official radio station, 4QG, and for 70 years, it housed various government departments, before finally being sold as part of the casino development and turned into offices.
  • In 2014 the former Queensland Government Savings Bank building was bought by TFE Hotels, who undertook a four-year process of conservation and adaptation of the exterior and interiors to create a modern, up-market hotel with more than 200 rooms, with a restaurant on the ground floor level and bar in the basement.
  • The Adina Apartment Hotel opened in 2018 but was forced to temporarily shut its doors due to an incident beyond the hotel’s control.
  • The project to adapt the building as the Adina Apartment Hotel Brisbane is seen as one of the major heritage restoration projects in Brisbane. While the building now serves a new and modern use many elements and details have been carefully and beautifully restored, and many aspects of this building that were hidden and unknown for many years are waiting to be discovered and experienced.
  • Elements of the building fabric have been retained and incorporated into this new use, include the old bank vaults, the strong rooms, the ground floor banking chamber, and the main staircase.
  • The ground floor was the original banking chamber of the building. This space was beautifully detailed and finished with six massive Iconic columns supporting the beams and the richly detailed panelled ceilings and enriched cornice above. The side walls were also panelled and decorated with similar plaster detailing.
  • Many years later the mezzanine was extended throughout most of the floor area of the building towards Elizabeth Street. The hotel adaptation has removed much of this floor area and restored most of the original volume, while allowing for a reduced mezzanine floor in conjunction with the restaurant.
  • The rich timber detailing has been retained and restored, the plaster ceilings and general detailing has been retained and restored. Some of the detailing to the column capitals has been carefully reconstructed where these were damaged or missing.
  • The Elizabeth Street staircase extends through all floors of the heritage building and is an intact element from its original construction in the 1910s. This staircase extends through all floors of the heritage building and is an intact element from its original construction in the 1910s.  The staircase has been retained in the hotel adaptation and now serves as the main fire egress. The staircase has ornamental wrought iron balustrading, cedar handrail, a green tiled dado to the walls, and concrete treads and landings with original detailing intact.
  • Given its age, height, materials and intactness, this is one of the best heritage staircases in Brisbane. This staircase leads into the former banking chamber, now the main space of the restaurant and hotel reception, but also to the lobby and entrance off Elizabeth Street.

This lobby is one of the more impressive and highly intact spaces in the building, and features the original timber entrance doors, marble stairs, marble panelling to the vestibule walls and a richly detailed plaster ceiling.

  • The original bank vault doors have been retained and mix seamlessly with the décor in the Boom Boom Room bar downstairs. These doors were constructed of heavily reinforced concrete, approximately 800mm thick. There are smaller strong rooms on most of the upper floors which have been retained and adapted as bathrooms and hotel suites.
  • Look up above – the basement features a series of seven ‘footpath lights’ – multicoloured glass panels set within cast iron framing at the level of the footpath above. These are original features of the building which have been retained in the hotel adaption. This was an effective way of allowing light into the basement levels below the street.  Whilst common features in buildings of this period in Sydney and Melbourne, these footpath lights are unique in Brisbane.
  • The architects also preserved the style of the sandstone clad building, which was initially built to accommodate the Queensland Government Savings Bank – one of the major heritage buildings of Brisbane.

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