Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This may be a little left field, but i've had this building on my mind for a long time now and found myself stalking it again today on the internet.

There's many things i love about Torbreck, but mostly the fact that it was the first residential block in Brisbane. Apparently, in the 60's and 70's it played host to the 'creative community' and i do feel jipped that i wasn't around to be a part of it. Set high in a suburb i have been in love with for toooo long - Highgate Hill - i often find myself daydreaming about what it would have been like living there back in 70's. How utterly fabulous.
Building was completed in 1960 with the majority of units sold off the plan prior to completion and a number of penthouses custom designed as well. Budgeted to cost ₤750,000 pounds i'm quite sure it's final cost was ₤1million. Set on a 1/2acre sloped block, it's broken up into a unit tower and then a low rise 'garden block' consisting in total of a whopping 138 units in total.

This was a massive turning point for Queensland and Brisbane with a design that was very forward thinking. Automated lifts were installed which had people gasping that it were at all possible. The detailing is the main reason i love the place. There's tiles everywhere in different colours and varying styles .... cavity brick features on many exterior walls
this detailing up the centre, love, love, love. Reminds me of stacked besser brick feature walls in pool area's from the 50's and 60's.
So much was considered in the design of Tobreck. Every unit has a built in planter box on the verandah to encourage vegetation and with the positioning of both buildings, each unit receives an abundance of natural light.  Climate control was a particular area of focus with louvres and shades installed to protect certain units from sun and weathering whilst still increasing air flow and maintaining a beautiful  suburban or city outlook ...

Well, so they say anyway. I read a case study on it a while ago - so i assume the person writing it is actually correct ...
a couple of historical shots. It caused quite a stir as you can see below. During the building of it there were viewing decks for people to watch it all unfold as well.
Well it's certainly a piece of history and another topic i could ramble on about. It's just annoying that such a minimal amount comes up for sale. The units are small, but with so many communal areas and a location that not only overlooks everything but is also close to everything - who cares. She's not the most stunning to look at from some angles but she's a stayer ... if those walls could only talk ... there'd be a tale or two ... oh yes, and it'd be bloody interesting!!

*Pictures all courtesy of the website - check it out!


  1. This was a fascinating read. I'm learning so much from blogging. Thanks for the new found knowledge. You can just imagine some of the parties and outfits from the '70's, you're right, it would be bloody interesting!!

  2. I can imagine a lot of jersey pantsuits have sauntered down those halls. x

  3. If only I knew you when we had friends living in the P'house. Some WICKED parties were held, scary rides up in the older than old school lift and views to die for....xx