A six-star, Rothelowman-designed beachfront tower has been granted planning permit approval by Gold Coast City Council. According to the developers at Golden Gate Property Group, the $200-million, 165-metre-high residential project will be amongst the slenderest towers in the world, measuring just 12 metres in width.

“[Wharf Road] is an example of collaborative and creative innovation and the fusion of architecture and wind engineering to create a design that is uniquely crafted to its context,” says Golden Gate’s David Whiteman.

“Rothelowman revolutionised its architectural approach to designing the high-rise residential tower to balance the beauty of this absolute beachfront location with the unique site proportions and characteristic prevailing winds.

“The result is a tower that is exactly tailored to its environment, to the extent that it couldn’t exist in any other place.”

Once complete, the newly approved Wharf Road development will comprise 35 full-floor residences that will measure between 346 and 414 square metres. The upper levels will be dedicated to a two-storey “sub-penthouse” and a three-storey penthouse.

Rothelowman associate principal, Jonathan Cowle, says that the tower represents a reimagining of the pencil-thin towers that have cropped up around the world these past few years. It was particularly important for the stability and longevity of this tower in particular that it respond to the prevailing wind conditions of Queensland’s Gold Coast.

“If we had undertaken a conventional approach to designing this tower, we would never have achieve the height, passive environmental performance or material optimisation presented in the design,” says Cowle.

“From a parametric design perspective, our process involved capitalising on an articulation zone within the planning scheme that enabled us to move what would have been a traditional inboard structure to the building’s exterior.

“The exoskeleton design meant we could cross-brace the building externally via a diagrid, which enabled us to open up the fa├žade and create a truly three-dimensional building with windows on all sides and enough asymmetries to mitigate the prevailing winds.

“Importantly, we were able to provide highly articulated ‘beach houses in the sky’ with stunning views and wonderful cross-ventilation while ensuring the developer received a viable design that will prove popular with a highly sophisticated buyer.”