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Urban design

City of Gold Coast is committed to combining quality urban design with measures to protect and enhance our magnificent natural environment.

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2007 Urban Design winners

The Urban Design Awards are presented to recognise outstanding design, liveability and sustainability within the City.

For further information on past winners please click on the headings below.

Sue Robbins Memorial (Gold) Award for Excellence

Circle on Cavill
Submitted by: Sunland Group Limited

Sue Robbins Award for Excellence in Urban Design - Circle on Cavill

This project stood out for its exceptional contribution to the public realm.

It is a development of two residential towers, but its gift to the Gold Coast is far richer than the twin landmarks it provides.

Through a thoughtful urban design strategy, with sensitive consideration of the immediate and greater contexts, the focus of the development is a generous, circular public space.

This is a safe, friendly and welcoming and it offers a key public gathering space for Gold Coast residents and visitors.

The jury members attribute the project's success to its excellent urban design.

Several features stand out:

  • active ground, first and second floor edges provide good passive surveillance of the public areas
  • balconies overlooking the space assist this and enhance the possibilities of interaction and engagement with the buildings, immediately shaping the circle
  • a super video screen provides focus and purpose for major events and sporting fixtures, without completely dominating
  • well-scaled architecture all contribute to its success

The space is connected to adjoining areas via key avenues which visually and physically link the circle to its context; to adjacent shopping precincts, which are re-invigorated by the linkage; to views of and access to the Nerang River and Appel Park; and ultimately to the distance aspect encompassing the hinterland.

From within the circle, the towers themselves provide a backdrop to the public space, while from a distance they are a significant contribution to the Surfer's Paradise horizon.

The jury was unanimous in identifying this as the outstanding winner of the Sue Robbins (Gold) Award for Excellence in Urban Design.

Helen Josephson Memorial Award for Innovation

Gold Coast Oceanway
Engineering Assets and Planning; and Infrastructure Delivery Group, Engineering Services Directorate, Gold Coast City Council

Helen Josephson Award for Innovation - Gold Coast Oceanway

The Gold Coast Oceanway project began at Surfers Paradise over twenty years ago, and it now extends for 36 kilometres, from the lighthouse at Point Danger to the tip of the training wall on the Gold Coast Seaway.

For most of its length, it is fully accessible to all people, and work continues on improvements to a number of sections.

Having traversed much of the Gold Coast and visited many excellent projects over the three days of judging, Chief Juror, Shelley Penn, was particularly impressed by the Oceanway, for several reasons.

Firstly, it is accessible to all, and the current and on-going works are ensuring it is a safe, attractive, sustainable place through its layout, surface treatments, lighting and signage, through careful topography and the considered use of indigenous plant species.

It offers contact with nature in an environment which is both fundamentally natural and intensely urban.

It encourages health and contributes to well-being, enriches quality of life and protects the environment.

It is probably best used and loved by residents of the Gold Coast, a valuable asset in a place where much public infrastructure caters primarily to tourists.

The Oceanway does not leap out or stand up as a grand visual statement, yet is a wonderful symbol, a reminder that, in essence, the sea edge IS the Gold Coast.

It is a humble pathway, yet its offerings as a civic place are exceptional.

This year it wins the Helen Josephson Innovation Award for all of the above reasons.

Further, the innovation acknowledges a sustained commitment to an early vision, the co-ordination between local city divisions and the tenacious development of the Oceanway as a well-considered, high quality outcome in the context of limited budgets and low profile.

People's Choice Awards

The Wave
Submitted by: DBI Design

People's Choice Award - The Wave

Voters applauded the building's striking architectural language, with a fluid podium and ribboned tower creating a memorable orientation point in this busy centre.

The judges also noted that Wave provides a distinctive identity for the area. They acknowledged also that the building delivers generous ground floor public spaces with active retail frontages.

Inclusion of office space at the lower levels provide passive surveillance of the street, which contributes to safety.

The Wave also contributes to a genuine mix of uses, providing opportunities to live, work and enjoy leisure time in the heart of Broadbeach.

Education Award

EDAW Intern Program 2007

Education Award - EDAW Intern Program 2007

Introduced in 1980, the EDAW Intern Program has brought a total of 197 students from 15 countries to sites across the globe, in an effort to find solutions for real clients on actual projects.

More than 300 of the world's leading design students, across a range of disciplines, applied for this year's program, hosted by Gold Coast City Council.

The 24 successful interns focused their attention on creating a refreshing vision for Surfers Paradise, investigating the impacts of sea level rise, social and cultural change over the next 100 years.

Judges praised the program as a world's best practice commitment to education and professional development for our urban designers of the future.

Other awards

The Ecovillage at Currumbin
Submitted by: Landmatters, Currumbin Valley Pty Ltd

Award - Ecovillage at Currumbin

The jury were impressed by a commitment to address all principles of good urban design.

They praised efforts to build a true community, with a focus on ecological, social and economic sustainability.

Extensive, international research has contributed to an outstanding development which respects its environment and the needs of residents.

The panel felt The Ecovillage would become an outstanding model for sustainable development.

Main Beach North Oceanway
Submitted by: Technical Services Engineering Services, Gold Coast City Council

Award - Main Beach North Oceanway

One of the most recent addition's to Council's Oceanway network, this project delivers mobility-equitable access between Southport Nippers Club and Marina Mirage on the Southport Spit.

Judges praised the effective use of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles, vastly improving safety and encouraging active and healthy community use.

Excellent signage and quality landscape treatments with sustainable planting were also acknowledged.

Elanora Library
Submitted by: Dale Cohen Architects Pty Ltd

Award - Elanora Library

The panel welcomed the integration of a civic project within a previously tired retail environment, not only meeting a current public need, but helping to inject new life into surrounding uses.

The building is highly legible, inviting and welcoming. It meets a community need and encourages use.

Reduced shelf heights inside the library, and well-placed windows improve visibility and public safety inside and out.

Climate-sensitive design, along with numerous energy and water-efficiency measures enable this civic building to achieve a high level of sustainability.

High Commendation

Ferry Road Markets, Southport
Submitted by: Cox Rayner Architects

High Commendation - Ferry Road Markets, Southport

This urban renewal project has become a destination in its own right; proof that a street frontage is not essential to creating a successful public place.

Conversion of this retail space was approached as if it were a public building, with the end result contributing to the city's economic and social maturity.

Judges praised efforts towards ecological sustainability through reuse of existing buildings and materials, as well as creative screening from recycled materials.

Also noted were quality, open edges and landscape treatments, along with innovative integration with the adjacent tenancies and car parking.

Other commendations

Elder Entrance, Burleigh Heads
Submitted by: Environmental Design Group Landscape Architects

Commendations - Elder Entrance, Burleigh Heads

This is also a model for other, medium density developments and the judges applauded the project's variety of treatments, architecture, and street appeal.

Light materials and good use of forms combine to complement the neighbourhood.

The landscape layout was praised for its sensitivity.

North Beach, Miami
Submitted by: Fairweather Proberts Architects Pty Ltd

Commendations - North Beach, Miami

The panel felt that this nine-level apartment building represented an excellent benchmark for medium density housing on corner sites.

They were impressed by the generous side-street setback and the project's contribution to public space through sensitive landscape design.

Stepped and open fencing provides good street visibility and the building detail is appealing on all frontages.

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