Our friends at Australian architecture and design studio Super Colossal have just been named winners in the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct Master Plan Competition.
Further commendations have been awarded to the entries by Gall & Medek Architects with the Queensland College of Art, GU, Masters of Design Futures program; as well as DC8 studio; LVO’ Architecture Pty Ltd; and Matt Drysdale.
The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city and one of the fastest growing regions in our country. The city’s population is around 500,000 and, if as forecast, it continues to grow by 13,000 to 16,000 annually, it will be home to 900,000 residents by 2030. The 16.5 hectare site is located at 135 Bundall Road and is bordered on three sides by rivers and canals. Formerly a simple rural cane farm, the site is now at the heart of a growing city with views across the skyline of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach.
The competition sought to generate creative new visions and ideas for the future of this key site and its facilities, stimulate community discussion about the future of the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct, as well as identify specific design features/strategies to be incorporated in the future development of the site.
The jury was chaired by Professor Michael Keniger and also included Professor Brit Andresen, Philip Follent, Rosie Kennedy, and Chris Gee. The competition was held by the Gold Coast City Council, with endorsement of the Australian Institute of Architects.
Super Colossal’s project provides new facilities for the Gold Coast Council, including a Performing Arts Center, Visual Arts and Heritage Center, cinema complex, restaurants, city council accommodation, significant park lands and an integrated pedestrian and bicycle network for the city.
The proud members of the Super Colossal team are Matthew Bennett, Erin Field, and Marcus Trimble.
From the jury report:
In common with many entries this proposal recognises that the site of the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct lies within the flood plain of the Nerang River and is therefore vulnerable to inundation from predicted future sea level rise; initially flooding low-laying land and later almost half the site.
Responsible approaches to meeting the danger of predicted flood events are to prepare either to defend the site or to retreat.
This scheme creates a decisive subdivision over the site to defend the land by both consolidating and raising the low-laying areas to form the precinct as an ‘Island of Culture’.
By designing a defended cultural and civic precinct as a hybrid - “is it a building island or is it a landscape island?”- this bold scheme presents a new urban type for the Gold Coast whilst simultaneously recalling the ancient islands in the Laguna Veneta such as the Isola Murano and Isola San Michele.
The winning scheme proposes a civic square, located at the heart of the ‘Island of Culture’ envisaged as a grand outdoor place with a central address at the intersection of three bridging pathways that reach out from the island to the community.
The bridges connecting the city to the ‘Island of Culture’ can also extend pedestrian and bicycle routes through to the civic square creating the potential for a lively public place at the centre of this visible, iconic landmark.
By concentrating the civic and cultural functions on the ‘Island of Culture’ the remaining site is proposed as open parkland not only retaining the green edge at this point in the city but also extending the opportunity to link with a sequence of forest parks that would create significant linear landscapes stretching into the south-west hinterland.
With the scarcity of public open space for the future flood-free City of the Gold Coast these open park lands will make a significant contribution.
Images: Super Colossal