We are committed to honouring and protecting the rich heritage of Howard Smith Wharves by merging the past and the present, for everyone in the community to access and appreciate.
We’re all about adaptive reuse — repurposing existing materials and giving them a second life that our visitors enjoy and appreciate.
The site’s rich history is incorporated into our venues, landscaping, signage and public spaces. All heritage buildings have been retained and are central to the charm of the site and visitor experience.
As part of our improvement process, we continue to develop innovative ways to integrate the site’s rich heritage into our visitor experience.
Old wharf buildings, previously unable to be accessed and under-appreciated, have been brought back to life and are now home to some of our most popular destinations, enjoyed by thousands of visitors every day.
We are constantly challenging ourselves to reuse existing materials and continue to incorporate recycled timber from the Wharves into some of our operational and maintenance works.
Air raid shelters
The Council Development Approval for Howard Smith Wharves states the air raid shelters, uncovered during the construction of Howard Smith Wharves, are to be retained on site.
However, as they do not meet current building standards, they are not safe to be reused in their current form, and instead are to be incorporated into the landscape.
The shelters are being integrated into the overall experience of the development and interpreted for the benefit of the public.
We are also in the process of providing more information about the air raid shelters on site, so visitors can appreciate the important role these structures played in Brisbane’s history.
We welcome visitors to visually explore the shelters and discover an important piece of Brisbane’s history.
Heritage Hero Status
Howard Smith Wharves is the first site in Brisbane to achieve Heritage Hero Status by the National Trust and is currently the only precinct in Queensland to meet this benchmark of excellence.
This accolade is awarded for excellent acumen in management of a development that impacts on all three aspects of heritage — built, environmental and cultural.
We are proud of this accolade which is testament to our outstanding heritage preservation and commitment to opening up previously dormant artefacts so they can be enjoyed and appreciated by the whole community.
At the 2019 National Trust Queensland Heritage Awards Howard Smith Wharves was awarded Silver in the Adaptive Re-use Category.
Custodians of Brisbane’s history
The buildings and associated infrastructure, and the wider Howard Smith Wharves site, are entered in the Queensland Heritage Register of the Department of Environment and Science as a State Heritage Place, under the provisions of the Queensland Heritage Act 1992.
The site is also subject to the Heritage Overlay and the Heritage Planning Scheme Policy of the Brisbane City Council Plan 2014 (City Plan Heritage Register).
Brisbane City Council allows for a range of uses, while emphasising the retention, conservation and adaptive reuse of the heritage buildings and other structures.