The fate of a Zaha Hadid project on the Gold Coast could be in limbo for another year after the Gold Coast Council voted to defer a decision on its approval last week.
The Council outlined 14 reasons not to approve the $600 million twin-tower development at Southport Spit including concerns with building height and accommodation density, but it was mostly concerned with the project’s impact on traffic.
It says that it needs time to develop a new masterplan for Southport Spit before approving the development which would see 370 apartments, 1950sqm of commercial space, 955 car parking spaces and a 69-room hotel, as well as an aquarium, gallery and museum built on the 3.94-hectare site.
The most vocal opposition towards the project has focussed on its predicted impact on local traffic congestion, to which developer Sunland openly addressed last week.
“When they talk about the traffic ... people staying in a hotel don’t bring cars with them,” said Sunland founder Soheil Abedian.
“They leave in the morning and come back in the afternoon – the people coming to theme parks such as Sea World, they come in the morning and leave in the afternoon – it is exactly the opposite and the pattern is really healthy.”
Abedian also compared the project to the Eiffel Tower, New York’s Guggenheim Museum and the Sydney Opera House and said that rejecting it would be like the British Museum rejecting a Monet painting.
He also called the late Zaha Hadid the greatest architect in history.
“No other architect, in the history of our field, has created a new art form in architecture that no one else could even create,” he said.
“Had she started a new movement? The answer is yes, but could anyone compete with her in that regard? The answer is no.”
“Having the last gallery museum designed by her – to turn our back towards that – could you believe that New York City would refuse the Guggenheim Museum?”
“It goes beyond the level of explanation ... we have received the greatest work of the ultimate architect that has ever set foot on this planet in Zaha Hadid.”