Brooke’s Blooms, Riverbar + Kitchen (QLD)
CATEGORY: Commercial up to $500,000
The Riverbar + Kitchen is an iconic part of the Brisbane cityscape. First installed in 2010, it has weathered more than a few storms. The 2021 floods, coupled with the effects of the COVID shutdown, led to Riverbar temporarily closing its doors. The only surviving aspect of the existing structure was a Hibiscus planter box from the original build, which was hand watered weekly throughout the closure to keep it alive. This became the centrepiece of Brooke’s Blooms’ design, a symbol of the longevity and resilience of the Riverbar institution.
The refurbishment draws inspiration from the Queensland rainforest, and Cape Tribulation specifically. A canopy, featuring Pinanga Coronate, Licula and Dracaena pairs with hanging baskets planted with Asplenium, Dendrobium, Hoya and other trailing plants to make an ecosystem. The lush foliage of the Schefflera, Zanzibar, Neomarica, Papyrus, Monstera, Devils Ivy, Alocacia, Pepperomia bring texture, lushness and green to the space which replicates the lush understory of the Queensland rainforests.
When designing the space, the high-traffic nature of the location and seasonal effects were taken into consideration, with room made for space heaters in winter and choosing greenery that blossoms under a range of temperatures and humidity. In order to achieve this, all stock was individually sourced and inspected to make sure it met the requirements of the environment. For example, the Dendrobiums came from a local man who was selling them from his front yard.
With remarkable attention to detail and a consistent finish on a challenging access site, this project excels. The landscape expertly responds to unique conditions, offering lush variety with diverse plant species for texture and contrast, softening the hardscape and creating a comfortable, green environment. Resilience is evident, considering the site’s flood-prone nature, with fixtures designed for easy relocation or replacement. The flexible space accommodates seasonal adjustments, pedestrian movements, and future growth.