A development application has been lodged with the Gold Coast City Council for a mixed use project in Surfers Paradise set to be one of the tallest residential buildings in the Southern Hemisphere.

Designed by Woods Bagot as part of a national design competition, Orion Towers features two conjoined towers reaching 76 (274m) and 103 levels (328m) respectively. The team worked closely with Melbourne-based developer Orion International Group and Gold Coast Development Managers CRA Group to create the mixed use towers that will house food and beverage on the ground floor, a 165-key, five-star hotel and residential apartments, and a signature restaurant and observation deck at the apex.

GoldMark_GCHW_Hero_Front_Elev.jpgKey design highlights include a horizontal gold banding streamlining the facade as it rises into the sky, graduating from the lower floors to emphasise the curvature of the form; inward-facing tower facades with an articulated geometry that directs the view outwards for increased privacy for residents; a five-storey mixed-use podium to offer active retail zones designed around a sculptural ‘urban canyon’; and lush planting and landscaped edges to help soften the base of the tower, with flowering feature trees providing shade and visual amenity to the ground and amenities levels.

Woods Bagot Director Mark Damant says that the design was initiated through strategic place-making analysis. He explains that a key objective was to create layers of experience for residents and guests alike, from the finely-grained daily living places to a super-scaled ‘city space’ via a series of garden decks, indoor and outdoor pools, and fitness, lounge and function areas.

Woods Bagot Senior Associate David Lee adds that the design will balance the tall tower forms with a vibrant ground floor plane of appropriate scale. This will be achieved by activating the street edges at the ground plane and articulating the facade to soften the way the tower base is perceived in the public realm.

The two towers are linked at the podium levels by a prominent and elevated curved bridge known as the ‘curious ring’. Featuring a large LED matrix screen on the underside of the bridge, the ring will display information such as time, weather and community event details in a modern interpretation of the town square clock tower. Heavily articulated, sculpted metal plates, strip lighting and exposed concrete finishes create texture and contrast to green edges, visually defining the podium levels from the streetscape.

The project is currently being assessed by the City of Gold Coast. 

Image: Orion Towers. Designed by Woods Bagot.