Urban Design Awards 2020

Congratulations to the entrants and winners of the Gold Coast Urban Design Awards 2020.

The awards celebrate the best of our built environment and have become the city's most prestigious platform for recognition of design, liveability and sustainability.

Scroll down to view the designs included in the 2020 Urban Design Awards.

Excellence in Urban Design Award

Kurrawa Terrace Event Space

Submitted by 8la Architects

Kurrawa Terrace


The Kurrawa Terrace Event Space is a masterful example of elegant design set within a complex context. Using minimal means, this project moderates sensitive beach site conditions and cultural connections, allowing for a variety of community uses. This project illustrates the transformative power of the very best interventions and presents as a model for future projects of this type.

Award for Urban Design Leadership

Amy Degenhart

Submitted by Bubble Up and degenhartSHEDD

Amy is a tireless advocate for the 'missing middle' and affordable housing. She questions and challenges long-accepted planning controls, engineering standards and traditional development typologies. Amy leads by example, showing the development industry and local government policy makers how alternative and affordable development can be successfully delivered without negatively impacting the surrounding community. Her projects are also an outstanding example on how good design can overcome pre-conceived biases against higher density and/or affordable small lot development projects.

Urban Design Award

ENVI Micro Urban Village – private project

Submitted by Bubble Up and degenhartSHEDD

Envi micro urban village


The ENVI Micro Village is a much-needed example of high-quality, affordable housing. Each dwelling displays smart internal design and a skilful combination of external facades, materials and landscape design. ENVI shows, that through good urban design, higher density affordable housing can be seamlessly integrated into any neighbourhood.

Kurrawa Terrace Event Space – public project

Submitted by 8la Architects

Kurrawa Terrace


This beachside public space has a well-considered and simple design. It is a good example of a restrained design approach that significantly enhances the public space with the natural elements of its setting. The design also maximises the opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to access the beach and beachfront activities and events, making a significant contribution to Gold Coast tourism and beachfront event opportunities.

The Residences – adaptive reuse project

Submitted by CoSpaces and Space Cubed

The Residence - Kirra Smith

This adaptive reuse project shows how to convert unrelated uses into engaging new spaces. The Residence pays homage to its built-form and history. However, in its new life, it also meets the aspirations of the Southport centre by providing an engaging, attractive and flexible space for community. This project, executed with a limited budget, is an excellent example of how building and space conversion through adaptive reuse can deliver excellence in urban design and place making.

The Spit Master Plan – unbuilt project

Submitted by Deicke Richards

Southport Spit illustration


The Spit Master Plan is a model for visionary urban design through consultation. Built around enquiry by design processes and consultation with traditional owners, this adaptable plan directly links community feedback to a pragmatic, principles-based vision which identifies measurable benefits, is culturally focused and environmentally sound.

Urban Design Commendation

HOTA Green Bridge – public project

Submitted by ARM, Archipelago, Cusp, Topotek1

HOTA Green Bridge


The Home of the Arts (HOTA) Green Bridge is an important pedestrian and cycle link between Chevron Island and the HOTA precinct. The understated design is enlivened by vivid blue Voronoi-inspired balustrades, striking artwork that wraps the generous lakefront landing, and integrated landscaping. The judging panel were impressed by the design and the significant contribution this new active transport infrastructure makes to the urban environment.

NORTH Residences – private project

Submitted by bureau^proberts

North Residences


NORTH Residences projects a robust built form required of an oceanfront residential building. The ground floor plane is respectful to the neighbours through the reduced floor plate, a roof garden and access to neighbouring properties.

The project also carefully considers future development in the adjacent blocks and their likely view lines.

Somerset College – private project

Submitted by DBI

Somerset College


Positioned centrally within the school, the Aitkenhead building improves connectivity on the campus. The learning and teaching areas extend beyond the building, with new gathering spaces and a covered yarning circle, while the new landscaped plaza features the school tree. Visually, the new building is a unique and bold, marking the elevated heart of the campus.

Gold Coast Water Walls 2019 – adaptive reuse project

Submitted by Art-Work Agency

Water Walls

The Gold Coast Water Walls presents a solution to the visual appearance of larger infrastructure buildings in public open spaces. This carefully considered concept embraces the environment surrounding each building while providing a pleasing aspect to each neighbourhood. The judges were impressed by the cost-effective outcome and eliminating graffiti.

Coolangatta and Kirra Business Centre Place Based Master Plan – unbuilt project

Submitted by City Place Making, City of Gold Coast

Coolangatta and Kirra public consultation boards


Commended for its purpose and product outcome, this master plan delivers a detailed and honest reflection of the master plan area. Acknowledging the area's current credentials and guided by community feedback, the master plan presents a realistic vision for the future. It provides detailed framework plans and strategies that can be turned into deliverable projects.

Urban Design entries

Salacia Waters Stage 1

Submitted by EJE Architecture

Salacia Waters


Large areas of public open space have been strategically planned to encourage pedestrian movement and to provide public access around the marina, boardwalk dining precinct and the beach foreshore. The development highlights how high-quality urban design can contribute significantly to the public realm, while providing an appropriate density of residential product.

The Surrounds Leisure Centre

Submitted by BDA and Villawood Properties

The Surrounds Leisure Centre


The Surrounds Leisure Centre is a state-of-the-art facility located at the heart of Villawood Properties’ masterplanned community at Helensvale. The facility features a suite of premium amenities including a café, lap pool, kid's pool, a private multipurpose room, a fully equipped gymnasium, and change facilities. The Surrounds Leisure Centre is positioned beside The Surrounds Central Park and within walking distance from every home in the growing community. It is a welcome addition to the community with all residents entitled to 2 years' complimentary use of the centre.

77 Jefferson

Submitted by bureau^proberts

77 Jefferson


77 Jefferson is a bespoke, nine-storey apartment building designed to respond to the built character of Palm Beach, its coastal landscape, sub-tropical climate and community-centred neighbourhood. The building delivers a medium-density outcome with the amenity of a low-density detached home through whole-floor apartment planning,, communal areas and public edges. Strong visual connections to the ocean and neighbourhood as well as seamless connections to outdoor terraces create comfortable and highly adaptable indoor/outdoor living spaces.

Broadbeach Entry Sign

Submitted by City Place Making, City of Gold Coast

Broadbeach entry sign - Merry Christmas


The intention of this sign was to make an entry statement for Broadbeach, activate the park and create an engaging photo opportunity for both locals and visitors (domestic and international). The bold, white face and contrasting black body and frame make a highly visible and striking entry statement, which lights up at night to brighten a dark and inactivated park corner. Visitor interaction with the sign was a key consideration so the structure was designed to be strong enough for visitors to climb into the letters to take the perfect photo.

Gold Coast Urban Design Awards 2020 unbuilt category

Place Studies for Palm Beach and Kirra

Submitted by 8la Landscape

The Palm Beach and Kirra Place Studies form part of a body of work prepared to inform developments along the southern Gold Coast light rail corridor. They identified, described and mapped areas with a unique local identity, natural landscape setting and character.

The study methodology builds on award-winning citywide studies including the Gold Coast Landscape Character Study. The Palm Beach and Kirra studies now form chapters of a complete complementary body of work including Miami, Nobbys, Mermaid, Burleigh and Tugun and is now linked to cityofgoldcoast.com.au as a resource.

The newly-proposed City Plan Policy Site Context and Urban Design reinforces the importance of context in development applications. These place studies form an essential resource for how proposed developments relate to the structure, landscape and identity of each place.

Jury panel

  • Dr Michael Lavery
    Director m3architecture and President of Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Chapter
  • Ms Wendy Evans
    Partner Planning and Environment, AJ & Co Lawyers and Queensland President, Planning Institute of Australia
  • Mr Jason Murdoch
    Development Executive, Sunland Group and Branch-President, Urban Development Institute of Australia
  • Mr Craig Addley
    Urban Design and Development Manager, Walker Corporation and President, Urban Design Alliance Queensland
  • Mr David Uhlmann
    Director, Environment & Sustainability, Wolter Consulting Group, and President, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Queensland
  • Mr Ian Ainsworth
    Principal, Queensland Buildings, ARUP

For more information, contact our Office of Architecture and Heritage on 07 5582 8875.