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Old February 23rd, 2006, 06:36 AM   #1
hkskyline
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All About Q1 - the World's Tallest Residential Tower

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Susan Kurosawa
18 February 2006
The Australian

Susan Kurosawa does a Jane Jetson at the Gold Coast's Q1, the world's tallest residential tower

IS this George and Jane Jetson, or what? My room is space-agey in its whiteness and smoothness, all bare surfaces and flowing lines, muted colours and sudden splashes of red in odd-shaped ottomans that crouch like sci-fi organisms.

The view reinforces the intergalactic feel: all I can see are scudding clouds and, hey, is that George approaching in his bubble-topped space car? Sadly, no, it's the beach patrol chopper hovering over a gleaming stretch of Surfers Paradise coastline.

At 322.5m and 80 storeys, the 526-unit Q1 Resort & Spa is the tallest residential tower in the world, a fact that may or may not thrill, depending on your feelings about altitude. Promotional literature includes a diagram showing its position as the 20th tallest building in the world, alongside such cloud-colliding structures as Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Twin Towers and the world's tallest, Taiwan's Taipei 101 Tower.

The curved and soaring architecture is said to mirror elements of the Sydney 2000 Olympics torch and the sails of the Sydney Opera House in "a thoroughly modern melding of architecture and engineering". The building, a Sunland Group development, has been designed to cast minimal shadow, although there's nothing about its presence that is understated.

If you stay above the 46th level there is no impediment to the view as you are higher than surrounding buildings. My room is on the 50th level, which is quite high enough, thanks: look straight out and there's just pale-blue sky, a sweep of white-flecked ocean and a smudge of horizon. It's such a deep, swallowing view that I fancy I can almost see New Zealand.

Self-contained apartments (one, two or three bedrooms) form the resort side of things, but there is no room service or extra frills, although housekeeping does a daily "tuck and tidy" of beds and bathrooms for guests staying more than one night.

The rooms, with their streamlined kitchens and full laundries, are designed for holidaymakers who want to cook and wash, thus carrying on the Gold Coast tradition of staying in units for long and lazy school holidays.

The Gold Coast, though, has glammed itself up with the jaunty acronym GC, which sounds very OC (Orange County, that is). The Gold Coast tag took hold in the late 1940s during the post-war real estate boom and was officially adopted in 1958, in a prescient tourism move. Surfers Paradise had been born in 1933, replacing the township of Elston -- another good marketing ploy.

The image of gold bikini-wearing meter maids and developers in white shoes is being replaced by an altogether more cosmopolitan feel, especially around the shops, cafes and day spas of the Tedder Avenue precinct at Main Beach and with the emergence of such new accommodation as the impossible-to-miss Q1.

Before setting off for Queensland, I ask my assistant Jodie to look at the website and print out the driving directions to Q1 from the northern outskirts of Surfers Paradise. "Just stick your head out the car window," she says.

Of course, she is spot on. How did I think I was going to miss it? The building dwarfs all around it; apartment blocks such as the nearby Peninsula look like wimpy little Legoland constructions.

The Gold Coast has more than 200 high-rises (that is, 12 storeys or more -- much more, in most cases), and these so-called "shadows on the sand" stretch for more than 30km along the coastal strand, with most concentrated in the 7km strip north from Broadbeach, and more to come.

Nudging Q1 for sky-high supremacy will be Juniper's Soul development on the corner of Cavill Avenue and The Esplanade, selling off the plan and due to open in 2009 -- 77 storeys and rising.

Apparently there was resistance from buyers to these multi-storeyed giants when they began appearing in the early 1960s. The whole concept of living in an aerial filing cabinet seemed too far removed from the quarter-acre Australian dream for some. Others, like my mother, would have found the idea far too bohemian: in her estimation, flats were the work of the Americans, and therefore the devil, and clearly were places where strangers made love on beanbags and no one ever emptied the ashtrays.

Imagine her disbelief when I moved, in the early '70s, to a Sydney apartment block named Acapulco. No doubt developers believed that receiving letters addressed to a Mexican resort town compensated for the drab reality of 1 1/2 bedrooms and a shared laundry in Sydney's inner west.

It was ever thus, even in Surfers, although its first high-rise at least has a distinctive name. The 11-storey Kinkabool in Hanlan Street, built in 1960, has been listed by the National Trust, and now looks as if Q1 could swallow it in one gulp. In the late '70s, the Joh Bjelke-Petersen-led state government abolished death and gift duties and started an interstate investment boom that led to high-rise mania.

The design cues were taken from the world's fabled beach holiday climes -- Honolulu, Miami, Rio, Positano, Ibiza and the French Riviera. A leisurely drive, noting the names and styles of these buildings (which can almost be carbon-dated -- post-modern pink and puce in the '80s, faux-Tuscan and make-believe Moroccan in the '90s), is a sightseeing exercise in itself, with the Q1 an instant positioning beacon.

On Q1's 77th and 78th levels is an observation tower, which has been enormously popular with visitors since its December opening. Photographers, in particular, linger to capture myriad changes in light from this giant's tripod. Visibility is up to 80km on a clear day -- say, from Brisbane to Byron Bay. There is also the screening of a video that includes footage of early Gold Coast holidays (from tented camps to boarding houses, Paula Stafford's news-making bikinis to the advent of the hokey-pokey) and a smart licensed cafe-cum-bar offering coffee and cake (including a tall wedge shaped like Q1, with a chocolate wafer spire) by day and drinks and tapas-style snacks by night.

There are two lagoon pools edged by sandy "beaches", an indoor lap pool, poolside cafe, spa (with Australian-made Li'Tya products and such pampering treatments as quandong hair masks and facials based on botanical ingredients and crushed mother-of-pearl shell), and a shop selling Q1-themed souvenirs, including mineral water in rocket ship-shaped plastic bottles based on the building.

French-born chef Meyjitte Boughenout, formerly of Tasmania's Franklin Manor, has opened the Parisian bistro-style Absynthe restaurant on the ground-floor concourse, which is as fine and groovy a dining experience as any hotel could hope to offer, especially if you choose his inspired degustation menu of seven dishes.

The Q1 Resort & Spa is set back about 100m from the beach and is within easy access of major Gold Coast attractions, including all those whoop-it-up theme worlds.

And the sensation up there in the realm of seagulls and scudding clouds? The balconies are glassed (with ingenious panels that open to varying levels, so you can get a wisp of breeze or full fresh air on a calm day). Maximum sway is 600mm, according to the management, but at one stage during my stay the wind whistled loudly along the 50th-level corridor and then gushed up as the elevator door opened, causing my skirt to fly up a la Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.

This high-in-the-sky sensation, coupled with the speed of the express elevator (a whooshing 43 seconds to the top), is pretty entertaining, especially for old fans of The Jetsons like me.

It could only have got more exciting if I'd caught the elevator with George on his way to work at Spacely's Space Sprockets and discussed the weather with him: mostly fine, with the possibility of asteroid storms.

Susan Kurosawa was a guest of Q1 Resort & Spa.

Checklist

Q1, Hamilton Ave, Surfers Paradise, Queensland 4217. Apartments from $230 (conditions may apply, such as minimum stays); special Romantic Rendezvous packages from $225. There is a "Stay 7, Pay 6" extra-night deal in February and March; seven nights from $1380 for a one-bedroom apartment.

More: (07)56304500 or 1300792008; www.q1.com.au .

Entry to the Observation Deck is $16.50 (children $9.50; concessions $12; family pass $42).

More: www.q1observationdeck.com .

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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:00 AM   #2
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yeah its a beauty













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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:10 AM   #3
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wow culwulla that first shot is unreal... there aint anything like it anywhere else in oz
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:12 AM   #4
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Most beautiful scraper ever!
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:17 AM   #5
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BIG NEWS, Sunland (the company that developeed Q1) is doing a bigger version of it in Dubai adjasent to the Versace hotel site. Word is that it will be identical but include 84 more unite which would probably equate to around 12 -16floors
Q1 tallest, not for long
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:21 AM   #6
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OMG!!!!! Beautiful!!!!!
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:34 AM   #7
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very nice.

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Old February 23rd, 2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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The Q-1 best represent the Oz/Oceana scraper.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA BOY
BIG NEWS, Sunland (the company that developeed Q1) is doing a bigger version of it in Dubai adjasent to the Versace hotel site. Word is that it will be identical but include 84 more unite which would probably equate to around 12 -16floors
Q1 tallest, not for long
I don't know why they have to do something nearly identical...........
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Old February 25th, 2006, 01:22 PM   #10
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Great building
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Old February 25th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CULWULLA
yeah its a beauty

What do you know about the blonde one?

Great building, good design, nice observation deck. But, i dont like the pink night-lighting. Anyway, cool!
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Old December 6th, 2006, 06:14 PM   #12
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Party at top of skyscraper
6 December 2006
Gold Coast Sun

IT'S party time at the Coast's most recognisable man-made structure - the Q1 building.

The mammoth skyscraper - the world's tallest residential tower - celebrates its first birthday on Tuesday and will spread the cheer by offering free tickets to the viewing deck on the 78th floor.

During the five-star resort's birthday week, from December 11-17, anyone buying one ticket to visit the observation deck will get a second ticket free.

Observation deck manager Dennis Cootes urged Gold Coasters to take the opportunity to see what makes the 230-metre building such a popular tourist attraction.

The past year has seen more than 330,000 visitors take in the views from as far as Brisbane and Byron Bay.

There have also been frequent celebrity tourist sightings, most recently U2's Bono.

Mr Cootes said the skyscraper's Skylight Room had been booked with weddings every weekend.

And he said the Skybar's popularity had increased further since it became more affordable.

The bar has begun offering discounts on its entry fees after 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights, making it the Gold Coast's No 1 place to be seen, according to observation deck spokeswoman, Susan Boyd.

For further information phone 5630 4700 or visit www.Q1 observationdeck.com.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #13
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Cool. Shame its on the other side of the world cus I might have gone. Not too keen on the tower. I like the shape but not the cladding.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 11:33 PM   #14
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Beautiful tower with great views. I'm so glad they're building one in Dubai.

I don't know how the Gold Coast was doing without it.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Entry to the Observation Deck is $16.50 (children $9.50; concessions $12; family pass $42).
WTF.
The Entry for the observation deck is as high as the one for the second observation deck of the Tokyo Tower.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:01 AM   #16
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The best in the world. It really deserves the title of the World's Tallest Residential Tower.
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Old December 7th, 2006, 05:15 AM   #17
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Whoa!!!.......Neat.....
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Old December 7th, 2006, 11:49 PM   #18
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I love that tower!!!
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Old December 9th, 2006, 11:52 PM   #19
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omg.. this is one of my favourites towers.
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Old December 10th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #20
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That is one good lookin tower!
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