Multi-Unit Development

Yorkeys Knob, Cairns



The design brief called for a concept design of a proposed premium high-rise, multi-residential unit development.

JB designed an attractive building with pleasant living environments appropriate for our tropical climate. JB based its building design on Cairns Regional Council’s Award-Winning Tropical Urbanism Policy.

JB Design adopted a ‘biophilia approach’ that is:

‘ … to connect the natural surrounds and to be seen as being part of the local environment’.

JB skilfully incorporated articulation into the biophilic design with careful attention to detail in the façade, ensuring the building will meld effortlessly into the landscape and designed the vertical landscaping to further enhance the biophilic model when constructed.

As the proposed site contains minimal vegetation, JB worked with a virtually blank canvas.

The theory behind the design of the tower/unit floor layout is to allow for maximum natural cross-flow ventilation utilising natural ocean breezes. The ‘flow-through’ concept was considered prior to setting-out the concept design on the site plan.

Working with the natural environment, JB paid careful attention to critical design elements and this unique, urban, tropical concept design includes two proposed distinct areas of communal, open space for use by residents of the building with: a proposed open-air gymnasium on the podium and a large rooftop space with a pool, BBQ/gazebos and ‘wished-for’ sun lounges interspersed through landscaped gardens.

The concept design imagines large, private balconies as continuation of the living areas; together with the two distinct communal, open spaces, it is envisaged the natural focus will be on socialisation and interaction with friends and co-tenants.

The overall proposed experience with this particular conceptual approach is to connect the community by sight and identity. The concept design makes sense in the way spaces are divided, as there is no reason for function to override aesthetics.


Design Team:

Terry James



Dementia Care / Respite Facility

McLeod Street, Cairns



JBD designed a two-stage project. The design brief was to convert an office (originally a 2-storey Queenslander residence) into a specialty dementia care / respite facility.

Incorporated into the design is a separate, secure administration area for the business.

Security was of paramount concern and JB achieved a high-level of security for both patients and staff whilst providing functionality, in an urban environment.

These security design elements were integrated into the overall project plan in such a manner that JB was able to present a professional/friendly facility, whilst avoiding the appearance and feel of an ‘open-air security complex’.

The existing Queenslander was adapted, and re-designed to best suit the client’s brief, whilst blending in with the character of the street. From the public access street, the general appearance of the original dwelling is retained.

JB designed the approach to the Dementia Care and Respite Facility to immediately welcome all visitors whilst at the same time providing a safe and secure environment.


Design Team:

Terry James



Darren Chirio



JBD In-house


Commercial projects gallery
Have a look through some of our commercial projects through the links below

Whether expanding your business to new premises or building as a development investment, we can help

Professional offices
"The professional design takes advantage of natural light and ventilation to the approaches"
Student Accommodation
"Modern materials were used for easy maintenance whilst retaining the traditional style"
Medical Care Facility
"The existing Queenslander was adapted, and re-designed to best suit the client’s brief"
Multi-Unit Development
"… to connect the natural surrounds and to be seen as being part of the local "
Specialist Medical Centre
"The new form required scale and presence to set the building apart from the surrounding old homes"
Professional Offices
"Incorporating a modern, open stairwell, gives the feeling of space and movement"
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