Thirty years of Gold Coast architecture
The decision to establish the Gold Coast Architecture Awards in 1984 responded to a timely confluence of motivations and circumstances affecting the Gold Coast city-region and its architects. The previous decade had seen tremendous growth in the permanent and temporary populations of the south-east corner of Queensland, and its coastal cities in particular, provoking a substantial high-rise building boom centred on Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. The number of architects active on the Gold Coast more than doubled in this time. The professional landscape transformed from one in which architects were in sustained competition with designer-builders to realise single family dwellings and low-rise tourism accommodation to one dominated by the design and construction of high-rises, which even when realised in the manner of a shoot-from-the-hip approach to property development necessitated the architect’s expertise. The Gold Coast’s architects nonetheless needed to position themselves publicly in a moment when the effects of their practice were themselves becoming more decisively public: not simply for designing bespoke houses and monumental moments in a city that had clearly taken off – and would, it rightly seemed, continue to do so – but also for the sheer volume of projects that was shaping the morphology of the city and marking out the lines of its future development.
Off the Plan: The Urbanisation of the Gold Coast
Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified