Parklands is the biggest urban renewal project ever undertaken on the Gold Coast. It served as the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games athletes’ village.

Parklands is 5 km from Surfers Paradise and comprises apartments and townhouses, shops, and a large public plaza and park. A blooming double helix snakes through the site—a yellow-rimmed arbor that twists around a water feature called The Disc at the centre of the village heart. The Disc references Natural Bridge, the much-loved waterfall that streams through the top of a basalt cave at nearby Springbrook National Park.

It’s as if the double helix is carrying the colour with it as it moves through the site, and it leaves splashes of colour on the buildings as it goes.

Health and knowledge

The site, a former harness-racing and greyhound track, is ringed by the Gold Coast University Hospital and Griffith University, as well as remnant bushland. It is a village modelled on a city so the buildings are taller and closer together than in many suburbs. This leaves room for more public space.

During the Commonwealth Games, Main Street was lined with 71 flagpoles, representing each competing country. Now, the focus will shift to the new shopping mall, supermarket, pub and restaurants that line the village’s garden heart. Sheltered, landscaped outdoor spaces feature moveable street furniture, street trees and space to mill around.

Once the buildings have reverted to their long-term states (with their Games-mode modifications removed), health and knowledge professionals will move in. With Brisbane firms Arkhefield and Archipelago, we have designed and delivered the six residential lots.

Parklands is one of Australia’s first build-to-rent developments, and properties will be available for the public to rent from early 2019.

The building facades are daubed with graded blues, greens, yellows, oranges and reds, creating a sort of shared DNA for the village. The hot yellows and oranges at Parklands’ heart cede to softer greens on the fringe. The brightest colours in our palette come from nature: the neon green of the red-eyed tree frog and reds and yellows of indigenous grevilleas and melaleucas.

Parklands is a pilot project for the new Green Star Communities sustainability rating tool and has achieved a 6-Star rating.

Sun fit and sustainability

Parklands is a pilot project for the new Green Star Communities rating tool and has achieved a 6-Star rating. It also achieved six leaves using the UDIA EnviroDevelopment rating tool in the areas of ecosystems, waste management, energy, materials and community.

The 1,252 homes, which come in five main layouts, are environmentally sustainable design in disguise. Where the façades face north, we have designed deep slab projections to create shade for windows. Coloured aluminium fins and façade panels provide further shade.

Every apartment has a significant, sheltered balcony and all have views of the bush, the sea or the village heart. Surface rainwater (overland flow) and stormwater from roofs will be collected and fed into the main lake.