- 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach, 4218 Gold Coast
Oracle towers (by DBI) and podium (by Retail Specialist IGNITE Architects and DBI) is an urbane, pedestrian oriented integrated mixed use development.
The development adjacent to and immediately to the North of the Oracle comprises a large, monolithic, five level podium consisting of car parking, loading docks and servicing areas. With little passive surveillance nor activation of the pedestrian domain the Oracle site had fallen into disrepair and had a reputation as an unofficial “red light district”. The Oracle podium resolves the dramatic and unfortunate differences in scale within the precinct and activates a previously unsafe and poorly lit area. The 3 level podiums are divided into a series of discreet and separate ‘buildings’ each with a differing architectural language.
The conventional ‘sub-urban’ typology, demonstrated to the immediate north by the Oasis Shopping Centre, de-activates and de-pedestrianizes the streetscape. In contrast the Oracle seeks to establish an architecturally contemporary ‘new-urbanist’ model of streetscape and form. The city block that comprises the site has been bisected by a diagonal road known as Oracle Boulevard. This narrow road is scaled to provide intimacy and is disposed as a shared pedestrian and vehicle zone.
Each of the elements of the podium is designed as a discreet architectonic entity producing a rich and complex streetscape similar in scale and pattern to the original development that was found in the central business district of Broadbeach prior to its sterilisation by the Oasis shopping centre. The tower façade and fenestration system employs precast concrete elements and louvered shading devices which respond to orientation to maximise climatic response and minimise heat gain.
The building employs green roofs in all podium areas to insulate the office spaces, for which surface water is collected, cleaned and then reticulated.
Ground level comprises mixed retail, activating all frontages, while the balance of the podium is disposed as “mixed use modules”. The concept of the mixed use module is that, in time, the demands for particular land uses can change. Consequently, the upper levels of the podium were designed for residential apartments but with higher floor to floor heights and appropriate servicing for commercial office space. This model is similar to what has happened in older European cities. However, this building is intended for adaptive reuse from initial concept, extending its life and thus conserving materials.
The site has been divided into a number of external streets and public spaces, including the now named Oracle Boulevard, Oracle Plaza and slightly tongue-in-cheek No Name Lane. These provide permeability and pedestrian activation to all areas of the site. The towers themselves take their sculptural form down to the ground and are connected to the street by the use of stratified canopies which reflect the flowing spandrels of the tower.
The Oracle towers, as with The Wave, while rationally constructed, explore the notion that architecture, no matter what its role or functional use, can possess a self-evident expression of its architectural intent. The Oracle draws inspiration from the dramatic and dynamic hi-energy surf beach that it fronts and continues an exploration of a coastal organic language for towers.
Oracle is a successful urban renewal project that has reinvigorated this part of the city.