Location: Surfer's Paradise QLD, Australia
Salacia Waters represented one of the last significant parcels of developable land within the fastest growing metropolitan area in Australia. Situated within the central metropolitan region, at the end of a peninsula along the path of growth, the property offered an opportunity to establish an alternative to the city's suburban character. Drawn by the beaches and gentle climate, the region is a magnet for retiring Australians and those seeking second homes. A budding international market has also taken hold, with the growing popularity of events such as the Australian Grand Prix held yearly in the streets of the city.
With rapid growth has come the associated problems of traffic congestion and loss of open space. The Surfer's Paradise region has grown from a small town to a large city within the past 40 years, using the suburban model of development. The lack of housing variety and affordability coupled with serious traffic congestion and insufficient public open space are beginning to undermine the basis for the area's continued prosperity. It is within this context that MARSIM and Roberts Day hired the firm to explore an alternative plan for the 9 hectare development of the site.
The firm proposed a low- and mid-rise community offering a mix of housing types, some of these new to the market. The development plan integrates a rich fabric of public open spaces (more than required by the existing zoning) which take advantage of the water surrounding the property. Because the regional comprehensive plan identified the site for future urban infill, the design team felt a responsibility to develop the property to the fullest potential. Salacia Waters is designed as a robust, mixed-use neighbourhood with a capacity of up to 600 units. Apartment buildings of up to 6 floors anchor the neighbourhood centre along a waterfront promenade. As the neighbourhood meets the adjacent single family developments to the south, town homes and love works serve to transition from mid-rise to low-rise. Interspersed throughout the neighbourhood are a wide variety of open spaces in the form of plazas, squares, lawns, and a promenade which circles the entire site.