The Gold Coast’s Parklands redevelopment is emerging in a blaze of colour, with developer Grocon well advanced in creating the new 29-hectare village.
In the second half of 2018 the site will become a new residential, retail and business community with a seven-hectare public park.
In a deliberate move away from the Gold Coast’s predominantly white and beige architecture of recent years, Grocon has sought to create a great and memorable place with a rainbow of colours used throughout the project.
Ocean blues, hinterland greens and the gold of the sand are all part of the palette, but so are the purples and pinks that were prominent in the neon haze of 1970s Surfers Paradise.
Lead architect Peter Edwards said the aim was to bring colour and festivity to the project in order to celebrate the Gold Coast’s rich culture, heritage and identity.
“We wanted to pay homage to the courageous use of colour on the Gold Coast in the 1960s and 1970s and reflect the vibrant colour of the regional landscape,” Mr Edwards said.
The use of colour extends beyond the facades of the 18 buildings with kitchen joinery inside and public art also receiving bold treatment.
“We think the colours will help make it a vibrant place for the athletes, but also for those who call it their home in years to come,” Mr Edwards said.
Parklands Village will become a new master planned mixed-use community with 1252 residences as part of the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct. At the heart of the village is a retail precinct with a Woolworths supermarket, while a range of businesses, services and community infrastructure are part of the master plan.
The largest urban renewal project on the Gold Coast will be memorable for its colour but also for its green spaces and world’s best practice in sustainability.
The planting of 136,420 new trees across the site is just one of dozens of initiatives that has earned Parklands a 6 Star Green Star – Communities rating, representing ‘world leadership’ in the design and delivery of sustainable communities.
Grocon’s CEO Craig Mitchell said “we set out at Parklands to make a great place for people to live, work and play in this wonderful area. We found that by volunteering to use the Green Star – Communities rating tool we could subject our thinking to the rigour of a third party to consider and validate the sustainability decisions we were making. To take that step and attain world’s best practice is a result that we are very, very pleased to have reached.”
At a tree planting ceremony on site today, Green Building Council of Australia CEO Romilly Madew said the Green Star rating reflected a long list of sustainability measures, construction initiatives and considerable innovation.
“This Green Star rating is testament to Grocon’s commitment to innovation and investment in sustainability. Parklands showcases to the world Australia’s skills in designing, building and managing communities that deliver long-term economic, social and environmental benefits,” Ms Madew says.
The Grocon design team is delivering a range of sustainability initiatives including the reinstatement of a natural creek and floodplain, sustainable building design, smart metering designed to reduce energy and water use, and dedicated community spaces.
The apartments have been designed to meet the local demand for Gold Coast housing including for workers at the neighbouring Gold Coast University and Private Hospitals, academic staff and students at Griffith University.
Liveable Housing Design features will ensure they are accessible regardless of age or mobility. A special facility called a Changing Place is to be included in the retail area to provide for adults as well as young people with a disability to provide dignity and equitable access to the site. This will be the first Changing Places facility to be delivered in Queensland.
After the Commonwealth Games, the project will become Australia’s largest multi-family project with all of the apartments to be offered as rental accommodation.
Mr Mitchell said a gradual sell down of the asset would minimise the impact of the project on the Gold Coast property market.
“At Grocon we believe it is critical to create quality rental accommodation and that’s going to be an important legacy of the Commonwealth Games for the people of the Gold Coast,” he said.
“The 6 Star Green Star – Communities certification is recognition that this is going to be a place where people can lead healthy and prosperous lives,” he said.
The Parklands village has also achieved a 6 Leaf EnviroDevelopment Rating from the Urban Development Institute of Australia.