KDV Golf and Tennis Academy, Carrara Gardens, Gold Coast, QLD

KDV Golf and Tennis Academy, Carrara, Gold Coast, Queensland

Front elevation, from the north-west

Front elevation, from the north.

The pavilion's pods viewed from the west.

The first-floor pool, viewed from the east.

Entry lobby and waiting area.

Front elevation viewed from the east.

Front elevation detail showing mirrored soffit and reflection of pool.

Rear driving range elevation viewed from the south.

Front elevation and profile of entrance staircase.

Front elevation, looking slightly east at dusk.

Western elevation, pavilion pods to left.

Front elevation, staircase.

Entry lobby staircase.

First floor, looking left to gym and south out across the driving range.

Front elevation, looking west at dusk.

Front elevation viewed from the north at sundown.


On Friday, June 23, 2017, Hiromi’s design for the KDV Gold Coast Golf and Tennis Academy won the 2017 Queensland Institute of Architects’ state design award for commercial architecture. Opened in October 2016, the KDV Golf and Tennis Academy project is located near Nerang, on Queensland’s Gold Coast, and comprises an extensive $20 million overhaul of the existing Carrara Gardens Golf Course facility.

Constructed on the existing site and adjoining land, KDV Sport aims to create a world-class, state of the art, one-stop sporting complex on the Gold Coast, using the latest technology available for professional sportspeople.

The 12-hectare Carrara Gardens site now forms a significant component of Gold Coast City Council’s plan for the wider Gold Coast Sporting Precinct, whose redevelopment will support the staging of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The redevelopment of the Academy’s site will essentially double the size of the Precinct, which is to be the signature venue hosting the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies.

(It is important to note that KDV Sport supports and complements the Commonwealth Games, but was not built for this purpose.)

This is the first visualisation of the design concept.



Hiromi: “The first image here is one I designed for the EOI for Carrara Golf, and it’s symbolic of what we express in our architectural philosophy. I tried to come up with an airy, transparent design, because on the site we have really good scenery behind us, so why would anyone want to close it off from the freeway?

“Although our primary consideration wasn’t what is in the neighbourhood, as it’s relatively empty, quite apart from letting the outside in and the inside out, it is both distinctive yet also blends in with its local natural surroundings.”

We were very happy to work with landscape architect Beau Hilliar of Cactus and Hill throughout this project. Beau’s site can be found at http://cactusandhill.com.

The Academy is to be built in two stages, as outlined beneath.

Key features/facilities:

  • 12-hole, upgraded golf course: par 3/par 4, offering the ability to play nine holes at night under lights
  • 40-bay undercover golf driving range, the largest on the Gold Coast, extending 220 metres, with targets
  • Golf and Pro tennis shops
  • Professional PGA coaching instructors using “Trackman” & “KVest” technology
  • 20 tennis courts (12 Italian clay/eight hard court)
  • Practice hitting wall
  • Three Padel tennis courts
  • 20 metre outdoor/undercover swimming pool
  • Gym, sauna and ice baths
  • 18­-hole mini golf

Additional features:

  • Large reception
  • 80-seat restaurant
  • Two function rooms
  • Outdoor/community function “hubs” with bbq facilities
  • Children’s playground area
  • 252 car spaces

Future facilities (stage two – due 2018) will include:

  • A student campus (72 rooms) – for visiting individuals and groups
  • Two professional soccer pitches
  • Multi-purpose sports field

Who owns and operates the Academy?

The Academy’s owner, KDV Group, is a dominant leader in the Russian market for confectionery and snack products sold across that country and its nearest neighbours.

Headquartered in the central-Russian city of Tomsk, KDV comprises six subsidiaries located in Siberia and the Urals.

The company was founded in 1994 as a distribution business by Denis Shtengelov, and the family owned business now produces 350 confectionary and snack products and has annual sales of over $1.3 billion.

It has 11 factories across Russia, an extensive retail network and employs 11,000 full-time personnel.

In an interview with the local newspaper, the Gold Coast Bulletin, Denis Shtengelov said he first visited Australia when his holiday in Thailand’s Phuket had to be abandoned as a consequence of its December 2004 tsunami.

KDV subsequently acquired the Carrara Gardens site in 2011.

You can view the precise location here.

What is notable about the Academy’s design and construction?

The process of getting the necessary approvals in place to build the Carrara Gardens Golf and Tennis Academy was complicated by the development’s location on a floodplain.

Project director Wim Steenbeek says, “It’s a fast project. We spent nearly as long planning it, designing it and getting approvals as building it, because of one of the challenges associated with this building site is its location on a floodplain.”

“We wanted to create a building that is operationally friendly and as open and transparent as possible, and that somehow put an envelope around this beautiful landscape.

“We didn’t want to end up with a design that would block the view from the road, but one which is innovative and clean that would open it up.

“As they drive past, people can actually look through the building and see those within using the gym, see them hitting a golf ball, or on a tennis court.

“We also have a very green agenda, with extensive water harvesting and solar panels.

“We don’t need any regulations to tell us we need to have 60,000 litres’ water harvesting, because as good green citizens, we just got on with building capacity of 10 times that, 600,000 litres, which will be stored under the tennis courts.

“We will also try to achieve 100 per cent solar usage, at least during the day.”

This design was completed with the assistance of Selina Qiu on its interior, and with the early involvement of Michael Smith of Martin Ollmann Architects, formerly MBMO.