Let the games begin ... with good design

Some of the world’s best athletes have gathered on Australia’s Gold Coast to battle it out for top honours in their chosen sport at the 21st Commonwealth Games.  When they’re not training or competing they’ll be spending much of their time at the games village, a development known as the Parklands Project.

The 14 hectare mixed-use urban renewal site has already won its own medals, including Excellence in Urban Design Award, and the Helen Josephson Award for Urban Design Leadership at last year’s Gold Coast Urban Design Awards.

 The Parklands Project on the Gold Coast - photography by John Gollings, courtesy of Grocon

The Parklands Project on the Gold Coast - photography by John Gollings, courtesy of Grocon

After the village has provided accommodation, retail, recreation, dining and medical facilities for over 6,600 athletes and officials it’ll transition into a general residential community as part of the Gold Coast’s Health and Knowledge Precinct in Southport. One and two bedroom apartments, and three bedroom townhouses will become available to the public for rent from early next year.

 Parkland's townhouses - photo credit John Gollings, courtesy of Grocon.

Parkland's townhouses - photo credit John Gollings, courtesy of Grocon.

Multidisciplinary design studio, Lat27, which is based in Brisbane, was one of the companies who worked on the project with development and construction company, Grocon. It says it’s strategy for the site was inspired by the regional landscape’s evolution since Mount Warning erupted 23 million years ago. It says it’s a celebration of the local environment incorporating new lakes, water features and waterways set up for both passive recreation and larger community events. The Parklands master plan includes seven hectares of public open space, over a hectare of new streetscapes and four hectares of private residential gardens, all designed by Lat27 in collaboration with the broader Grocon team.

 Parklands is said to be a microcosm of urban living - photos courtesy of Grocon.

Parklands is said to be a microcosm of urban living - photos courtesy of Grocon.

The City of Gold Coast council says the $550 million redevelopment of Parklands is the “single-most significant legacy project for GC2018”. And it’s expected that the health and knowledge precinct it’s part of will create thousands of new jobs and strengthen and diversify the Gold Coast economy. The precinct includes Griffith University and  Gold Coast University Hospital.

Jurors at the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards said: “More than a commonwealth games village, Parklands is a microcosm of sustainable urban living. Critically, the project creates a walkable pedestrian friendly environment that supports future affordable housing adjacent to health and educational facilities.

 An aerial view of the Parklands project - courtesy of Grocon.

An aerial view of the Parklands project - courtesy of Grocon.

“Parklands is an exemplar project that sets a high national and international benchmark for excellence in the integration of architecture and public realm. The complexity of designing for a single event and legacy simultaneously has been navigated with great thoughtfulness, care and design skill, supported by powerful advocacy across disciplines of urbanism, architecture and landscape architecture over a large site and half a decade or more.”

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