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Super Colossal wins Gold Coast Cultural Precinct Masterplan

October 21, 2009


The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city and one of the fastest growing regions in our country. It’s population is around 500,000 and, if as forecast, it continues to grow by 13,000 to 16,000 annually, it will be home to 900,000 residents by 2030. The 16.5 hectare site is located at 135 Bundall Road and is bordered on three sides by rivers and canals.  Formerly a simple rural cane farm, the site is now at the heart of a growing city with views across the skyline of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach and Broadbeach. That’s why the Gold Coast City Council, with endorsement of the Australian Institute of Architects, presented this project of a competition for an open Master plan Ideas Competition.

Super Colossal is an emerging practice that works across a wide range of projects including public projects, temporary structures, urban proposals, residential and memorials. Let’s take a look at the winning project:

01 Report

The team with Matthew Bennett, Erin Field, Marcus Trimble and ARUP as collaborators,  proposed that The Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct will be an iconic symbol for the city. Its luminous form, sitting over the water will be an attractive and welcoming public facility visible around the Gold Coast. Importantly, the bridges connecting the precinct to the surrounding city will not only provide access to the venues and workplaces of the precinct but will form the centre of a much needed pedestrian and bicycle link across the city; the civic square then being part of a critical sustainable agenda.

For the design statements: A new island is proposed for the Gold Coast. This island will house the cultural and civic activities for the city of the Gold Coast, repositioning and reinventing the Gold Coast as an arts and culture destination. Bridges connect the cultural and civic precinct to neighbouring parklands and the city creating an integrated network of bicycle and pedestrian connections through the city.



At the centre of the island is a public space on the scale of the world’s fi nest civic spaces. The landscaped, shaded square will be a vital organ for the city, with restaurants, public facilities and the major arts institutions opening out onto it. Like the best public squares, it will act as a performance space, a living room and importantly, when empty as a quiet and dignifi ed room for the city.

02 Report

From the jury report:

“In common with many entries this proposal recognises that the site of the Gold Coast Cultural and Civic Precinct lies within the flood plain of the Nerang River and is therefore vulnerable to inundation from predicted future sea level rise; initially flooding low-laying land and later almost half the site.

Responsible approaches to meeting the danger of predicted flood events are to prepare either to defend the site or to retreat.

This scheme creates a decisive subdivision over the site to defend the land by both consolidating and raising the low-laying areas to form the precinct as an ‘Island of Culture’.


CONGRATS to all the team! You can follow Marcus at twitter here: @marcustrimble and get more info here and here, in the interactive map.

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