As the first highrise residential block of flats in Brisbane, twenty storey Torbreck caused quite a stir in sleepy Brisbane during its marketing and building from 1958-1960.
Firstly an 1870’s villa called Torbreck was razed to make way for it on the apex of one of Brisbane’s highest inner city ridges and then buyers were feted with helicopter rides to show them what the view would be like from the level they aspired to buy when it was completed.
Its architects Job and Fraud took inspiration for its design from the North American apartment blocks being built in the fashionable post Second World War International Style of the time, with the result being two blocks - a low rise garden tower behind and the main 20 storey one at front.
Before it even began being built it was the talk of the town and every weekend Brisbane folk would pour into the area to watch its construction, with weekly updates in the local newspaper spruiking its avant garde luxuries such as a phone line in both bedroom and lounge, electric kitchens, garbage disposals and self-opening lifts doors.
Today it remains relatively intact, its innovative features such as a glazed rooftop observation room, climate-control screens on the patios and water tanks on the roof leaving some of today’s ‘architecture’ for dead.