South-East Queensland is the fastest growing urban region in Australia. The city of Gold Coast is one of the key urban centres within this region. Historically, the city of Gold Coast has been developed in response to a lifestyle demand for living near water, beginning with the tourism focused high rise ‘strip’ along the coast and followed by an extensive inland suburban canal system to the west where developers have provided the much sought after water frontage by directly modifying the natural floodplain system onto which the city is located. Gold Coast is in fact the largest urban floodplain in Australia. At the heart of the city, lies the last undeveloped remnant of the Nerang River floodplain system - an area called Guragunbah. This environmentally sensitive tract of land is currently under significant development pressure from both private housing developers wanting to cater to the demands of the expanding permanent population and the regional council who view the area as an important environmental parkland amenity for the growing city.
The Studio builds on the Gold Coast Council plan for the Guragunbah floodplain called ‘Green Heart’. Students examined, critiqued, and ultimately developed the strategic masterplan for the two identified ‘parkland cores’ before focussing on one particular area of this and developing a more detailed urban architecture design project.
Viet Luc & Alexandra Griffeth, Zoomed-In Plan
The proposal for this wetlands park sees two axes working as arteries in the Gold Coast green heart. They are an organisational logic for the implementation of program to the park; pedestrian, bike, and boat access into, and across the area; they are key to a flood mitigation and water treatment program; and most importantly, they will form the armature for the growth of the Gold Coast city. Programs are organised specifically along the axis with sporting facilities on the southern axis close to Robina and Skilled Stadium, and cultural amenities on the northern arm closer to the suburbs for residential convenience. The two key areas of the design are the amphitheatre and the swale. The Amphitheatre has grass tiered seatings that sink down to create a seemless enclosed space that scenes can be directed to performances. The large swale is also oriented to the centre of the axes, and will process run-off water from the parklands as well as piped-in storm water from surrounding residential developments.
Viet Luc & Alexandra Griffeth, View from Ferry
The view of the Lookout tower and bridge from the ferry as you are travelling across the river. The river is the main tool for horizontal navigation and observation.
Viet Luc & Alexandra Griffeth, On top of the Lookout Tower
The view of the parkland as you are on top of the lookout tower. The lookout tower, as opposed to the river, is the access for vertical navigation and observation.
Viet Luc & Alexandra Griffeth, The Four Axis
The four arms forming the axis. North being cultural, East to West being Wetlands and access and South is sporting facilities.
Viet Luc & Alexandra Griffeth, Model Photo - In full
Zoomed Out Balsa Model showing the real scale of the park, its features and programs.
Viet Luc & Alexandra Griffeth, Model Photo – Zoomed In
Zooming into the centre of the park, highlighting the central intensity of the Lookout Tower, bridge, swale and river.