Rugby league legend — and architecture fan — Darren Lockyer shares his favourite Brisbane buildings.

I trained as a carpenter while my football career was taking off and still love the idea of grabbing a nail bag and doing a few days’ work onsite.

Darren-LockyerSince then, I’ve been involved in personal residential projects and developed an appreciation of the creative and design abilities of architects — and I just enjoy working with them.

It doesn’t matter if the block of dirt is difficult, they just know how to visualise a structure that works, make the project happen and create a place people love to visit.

My favourite buildings are old places that have been restored, but there are so many incredible buildings in Brisbane, both old and new. Our city has so much to offer.

Spring Hill Service Reservoirs

The Reservoir is one of my favourite and most interesting places. It has significant potential as a cultural space, and I’m really pleased it’s being used as a performance venue for entertainers. The brick, underground reservoir was used to carry Brisbane’s fresh water supply and it has an amazing, mysterious feeling about it.

Fernberg, Government House

It’s a privilege to have such a stunning, historic building right here in Brisbane. This year Fernberg celebrates its 150th anniversary, and visiting Government House today is like stepping back in time.

Old Bishopsbourne

I used to run past this place in Milton and didn’t even know it was there until I stumbled across it last year. It has been a training college for priests and deacons for decades and well worth visiting on a guided tour.

Dornoch Terrace House

Dornoch Terrace House is a private home with quite a colourful history as a stop-off place for musicians and artists. An extensive five-year renovation using experimental construction techniques has seen the building transformed into a stunning and comfortable home with panoramic views of Mount Coot-tha.

Woods Bagot

The old Reserve Bank of Australia building on Adelaide Street is a perfect example of an early 1970s space getting an update to fit well with modern city life. It’s now home to Woods Bagot, an architectural and interior design studio, and one of the meeting rooms still has the original vault door as a quirky reminder of the building’s original use.

All of these buildings will be open to explore from 10 to 11 October as part of the Brisbane Open House program. For the complete list of participating buildings, visit