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    Editor’s picks: highlights of Gold Coast Open House 2017

    Nicholas Rider

    In early November, the third annual Gold Coast Open House will open the oft-locked doors to the city’s most architecturally significant sites.

    Taking place on 4 November, the program will unlock 40 buildings and locations across the full breadth of the city. As we have come to expect from Open House programs, the typologies of these places will be broad, comprising heritage gems, Commonwealth Games-ready sports venues, homes, churches, schools, universities, museums, art galleries, TV and radio stations, and commercial buildings.

    This year’s event introduces 15 new venues along with a film night. Two architecture walks have also been added to the program: one that celebrates the rich Art Deco history of Southport; the other a nature walk through sand dunes that offer skyline views of Surfers and Southport.

    We’ve put together a few of our favourite buildings to get you started:

    BUCHAN GROUP OFFICE
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    When: 10am – 3pm
    Where: Level 5, 64 Marine Parade, Southport

    Being architects themselves, there was no shortage of options for the fit-out of Buchan Group’s Gold Coast office. Stripping back the existing flooring and column finishes to concrete, they created a simplified palette of materials. The work was designed, documented and constructed in four months.

    BURLEIGH STREET RESIDENCE
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    Where: Burleigh Street, Burleigh Waters

    The Burleigh Street House project by ME consisted of an alteration and addition to a 1970s bungalow on the Gold Coast. The upgraded three-bedroom home consists of three connected pavilions that link indoor and outdoor spaces.

    GOLD COAST SPORTS & LEISURE CENTRE
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    When: 10am – 1pm
    Where: 296 Nerang Broadbeach Road, Carrara

    The BVN-designed Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre will provide world-class competition and training facilities capable of hosting international sporting events such as the badminton, weightlifting and wrestling competitions during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

    Q1 & SKYPOINT
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    When: 10am – 3pm
    Where: 9 Hamilton Avenue, Surfers Paradise

    SkyPoint is set atop the award-winning Q1 building, one of the world’s tallest residential towers. An express elevator travels 77 floors in 43 seconds to the Gold Coast’s only beachside observation deck, which offers 360-degree views from surf to hinterland. The building was designed by SDG and the Buchan Group.

    THE EXCHANGE
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    When: 10am – 3pm
    Where: 41 Nerang Street, Southport

    In 2015, Telstra partnered with the Howes, a local engineering family, to repurpose a 60-year-old as a co-share office space. The Exchange is located on the same site that once housed the Gold Coast’s first post and telegraph office, built in 1909. In 1957, the post office was replaced by a two-storey brick building that was erected to house a state-of-the-art automatic telephone exchange. Now, the site is used as a creative commercial space, comprising 26 desks, a meeting room, kitchen, photography studio and four artist studios.

    KDV GOLF & TENNIS ACADEMY
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    When: 10am – 3pm
    Where: Corner of Nerang Broadbeach Road & Chisolm Road, Carrara

    Designed by Shiro Architects, the KDV Golf and Tennis Academy project consisted of a $20-million overhaul of the existing Carrara Gardens Golf Course facility. The 12-hectare site now forms a significant part of the Gold Coast City Council’s plan for the wider Gold Coast Sporting Precinct, which is partly to accommodate the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

    FORMER SOUTHPORT TOWN HALL
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    When: 9am – 5pm
    Where: 47 Nerang Street, Southport

    The heritage-listed Southport Town Hall was constructed in the Art Deco style by architectural partnership Hall and Phillips in 1935. It was refurbished in 1957 and again in 1960. In 2011, a paint job restored the building to its original 1930’s colour scheme.

    STELLA MARIS CATHOLIC CHURCH
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    When: 10am – 3pm
    Where: 254 Hedges Avenue, Broadbeach

    A study in height and light, the contemporary glass and sandstone house of worship – designed by Straw & Dunne Architects and PMG Architects – replaced an old wooden church that served its congregation for years. Building materials took inspiration from the nearby beach and ocean.

    AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY TRADE COLLEGE
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    When: 10 am – 1pm
    Where: 281 Scottsdale Drive, Robina

    Designed by Amy Degenhart of DegenhartSHEDD, the Australian Industry Trade College (AITC) is an independent senior school with a trade focus. The building encloses a central courtyard and has 1600 square metres of floor space with learning spaces, gymnasium and administration at ground level, and staff rooms above.

    Images: Gold Coast Open House 

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