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Review : Surfers Paradise foreshore redevelopment masterplan - urban plaza zone

Kennedy, Rosemary J. & Lee, Gini (2009) Review : Surfers Paradise foreshore redevelopment masterplan - urban plaza zone. Queensland University of Technology, Centre for Subtropical Design, Brisbane , Qld.

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    Abstract

    The Centre for Subtropical Design has prepared this submission to assist the Gold Coast City Council to finalise a plan and detailed design guidelines for the Urban Plaza Zone of Surfers Paradise Foreshore Redevelopment Masterplan which will create a public open space ‘alive’ with the quality appropriate to a place which is both a local centre and an international destination. This review has been informed by the two over-arching values identified as characteristics of a subtropical place and people’s connection to it:  A sense of openness and permeability, and  Engagement with the natural environment. The existing qualities of the foreshore area proposed as the Urban Plaza Zone, reflect these subtropical place values, and are integral to the Surfers Paradise identity:  Seamless visual and spatial access to the beach and sea,  Permeable interface between beach and built zones provided by beach planting and shade to sand by Pandanus,  A shade zone mediating beach and linear promenade, road and commercial zones, enabling a variety of social and visual experiences, on soft and hard finishes, and  A lively, constantly moving shared road and pedestrian way catering for events and day to day activities with visual access to beach and shaded areas. The Centre for Subtropical Design commends the Gold Coast City Council on preparing a plan for a public open space that is a contemporary departure from the adhoc basis of development that has occurred, in that it will make this area more accessible. However, the proposed plan seems to be working too hard in terms of ‘program’. While providing an identifiable interruption in the linear extent of the Foreshore, the lack of continuity of design in terms of both hardscaping (such as perpendicular paving elements) and softscaping (such as tree selections) may contribute to a lack of definition for the entire Foreshore as a place that mediates, along its length, between sea and land. Providing a hard edge to a beach character of soft and planted transitional elements needs to balance the proposed visual and physical barrier with the need for perceived and actual easy access. The Surfers Paradise identity needs strengthening through attention to planting for shade, materials, particularly selection of paving colours, and stronger delineation of the linear nature of the Foreshore. The Urban Plaza zone is an appropriate interruption to the continuous planting, however the link from the commercial zone overtakes the public and beach zone. A more seamless transition from shop to sea, better integration of the roadway and pedestrian zone and improved physical transition from concrete to sand is recommended. Built form solutions must be robust and designed with the subtropical design principles and the Surfers Paradise identity as underpinning parameters for a lasting and memorable public open space.

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    ID Code: 40320
    Item Type: Report
    Keywords: Climate-responsive Design, Place Character and Identity, Ecological Sustainability, Public Open Space, Shade and Shelter
    Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
    Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
    Past > Schools > School of Design
    Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Queensland University of Technology
    Deposited On: 25 Feb 2011 11:26
    Last Modified: 12 Sep 2013 15:31

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