It's all about the view at Q1, a residential tower with ground-floor retail that looms over Surfers Paradise, one of the hottest beaches in Gold Coast City in Queensland, Australia.

Great views are the main reason why Q1 is a single 80-story tower instead of the two shorter buildings that were originally planned for the site. “We were very focused on ensuring that each residential dwelling would achieve the greatest views—from the skyline through to the beach,” says Sahba Abedian, managing director of The Sunland Group, the Sydney-based firm that designed, developed, and constructed Q1.

By placing two towers in such close proximity, however, The Sunland Group realized that some apartments wouldn't have views of anything but the other building. “Instead, we decided to place one building on top of the other, and that led us down the path of building one of the tallest buildings in the world,”

Abedian explains. Abedian says The Sunland Group spent two years gaining approvals from the city and another three years constructing Q1. It was completed in 2005, and at 1,058 feet, Q1 is the tallest structure in the Southern Hemisphere. It boasts 527 apartments, ground-floor retail, a conference center, and an observation deck located at floor 77 that gives panoramic views of the Gold Coast and the Pacific Ocean.

In 2006, Q1 was honored with the “Building of the Year” award from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Inspired by the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch and Sydney's Opera House, Q1's elliptical design casts a minimal shadow. It is clad entirely of glass, and the spire on top is 320 feet tall and starts at the 75th floor.

“There's magnetism to structures of this nature, particularly when you open them up to the public,” Abedian says.


Location: Gold Coast City, Australia
Height: 1,058 feet
Stories: 80 stories
Developer: The Sunland Group
Architect: The Sunland Group
Notable: Has the fastest elevators in Australia at 1,772 feet per minute and the highest pool in the world.

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