The Mermaid was the inevitable epithet for this project, whose floor plan so clearly draws on the form of a mythical sea creature with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail of a fish.
At the end of 2016, we were invited to submit this concept for a top-end luxury four-storey beachfront apartment development at Mermaid Beach, just south of Broadbeach on The Gold Coast.
In plan, curved interior walls cup the contours of this curvaceous maiden, whose fins reach out in yearning to the ocean to forge the shape of a deep, luxurious outdoor balcony entertainment space and an external glass spa bath on each floor.
On the ground floor, the eastern, beach edge of the building comprises an infinity pool, adjoining the local strip of council grass land.
Our design is clean and uncluttered, but a definite, arresting landmark on a key entrance to the beach.
Bathed in the most generous Queensland sunshine across the day, the silhouetted human movements depicted behind its frosted screen makes it stand out distinctly from any other building in its neighbourhood.
At night, lit from within, its luminescent glass form glows warmly and enticingly.
Please find at this YouTube URL an early interior concept design animation of our proposal: https://youtu.be/SXHNuAOPJi0
Dressing The Mermaid: external material choices
The street façade is composed of sand-blasted structural glass planks, which provide a sleek and sophisticated appearance during the day, and, being back-lit, glows at night.
The northern walls are white-coloured concrete with windows trimmed in black aluminium frame to express the scheme’s modern, straight-lined Bauhaus architecture.
Beach-side, the introduction of curved glazed walls and balconies soften the building, giving it a confident and inviting, funky, residential bearing which will allow a perfect wide-angle view out to the ocean.
The large glass areas of southern façades could provide passive solar energy depending on material choices or makes.
Atop, depending on other choices made as to its use, is a “sedum” green roof for energy efficiency and sustainability, with minimal maintenance required.
New walkways and beach access will help to articulate The Mermaid’s new natural landscape.
Our independent target audience research
Without disclosing The Mermaid’s location, as our own sense-check, we carried out discrete broad-brush research among real-estate agents serving Mermaid Beach and its neighbouring Gold Coast suburbs.
Our aim was to get a better idea of the likely demographics of potential purchasers, where they would come from and the must-have inclusions they would expect in such a luxury development.
From our research the suggestion emerged that as many potential buyers could be well-off but time-poor, a packaged “menu” of appropriately designed high-end furniture suited to that of The Mermaid’s apartments could be offered.
From our responses, we viewed as credible opinions that beside the baby boomers and empty nesters migrating away from the cooler climes of Sydney and Melbourne, among those most likely to want to live here might be cashed-up “fly-in fly-out” residents still in their working years but wishing to spend productive working time in an attractive location of their own choosing.
We were urged strongly to aim the facilities primarily toward such office-based professionals with needs for both high-velocity internet connections, generous bandwidth and rich, apartment-pervasive wi-fi.