Q1 (building)

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Q1 (Queensland Number One)
Q1 one.jpg
The tallest skyscraper in the southern hemisphere and the world's sixth tallest residential building
General information
Type Residential
Location Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Coordinates 28°00′22″S 153°25′46″E / 28.00611°S 153.42944°E / -28.00611; 153.42944Coordinates: 28°00′22″S 153°25′46″E / 28.00611°S 153.42944°E / -28.00611; 153.42944
Construction started 2002
Completed 2005
Cost $255 million
Architectural 322.5 m (1,058 ft)[1]
Roof 245 m (804 ft)[2]
Top floor 235 m (771 ft)[1]
Observatory 235 m (771 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor count 78 (+2 basement floors)[1]
Floor area 107,510 m2 (1,157,200 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Sunland Group
Developer Sunland
Main contractor Sunland

Q1 (an abbreviation of Queensland Number One[3]) is a supertall skyscraper in Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast, Queensland. It lost its title as the world's tallest residential building to the 337-metre The Marina Torch in Dubai on 29 April 2011. It is now the sixth tallest residential tower in the world and is the tallest building in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere[4] and the second-tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, behind the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. The Q1 officially opened in November 2005.[3]

The landmark building was recognised as one of Queensland's icons during the state's 150th birthday celebrations.


At 322.5 m (1,058 ft) and with a roof height of 245 m (804 ft), Q1 qualifies as the world's seventh tallest all-residential building when measured to the top of its structural point (spire),[5] but is ranked lower behind buildings including The Marina Torch at 337 metres in Dubai and Melbourne's Eureka Tower (roof height of 297.28 metres (975.3 ft)) when measured to its roof height and highest inhabitable floor. However, according to the ranking system developed by the US-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the main criterion by which buildings are ranked is the height of the top of the spire, qualifying Q1 as the taller.

When the Q1 was completed it overtook the 21st Century Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to become the world's tallest residential tower. It is as of December 2011 in the top 50 tallest buildings in the world when measured to its structural point, dwarfing the Gold Coast skyline with the closest buildings to Q1's height being the 220 m (720 ft) North Tower of Circle on Cavill and the 243 m (797 ft) Soul building.

Design and construction[edit]

The building under construction in 2005

Q1 Tower was designed by SDG & The Buchan Group, and its form was inspired by the Sydney 2000 Olympic torch and the Sydney Opera House.[3] The name was given in honour of members of Australia’s Olympic sculling team of the 1920s – Q1.[3]

The concept was based on studies of wind, movement and tension in which a series of ribbons wrap concentrically around the tower form and hover above the entry plaza area providing cover and shading. The tension in the movement and free form are expressed by the gradual twisting of the aluminium-clad ribbons as they move around the building. The result is an open-air galleria-like shopping precinct under the glazed ribbon structure and a curved retail facade to the street edges.

The project was developed by The Sunland Group and built by Sunland Constructions. The building was the Silver Award winner of the 2005 Emporis Skyscraper Award, coming in second to Turning Torso in Sweden.

Q1 was completed towards the end of year 2005. Its main point of difference to other high-rise in Surfers Paradise is its glass-enclosed sleek look. Q1 lift lobby is separated into two high speed lift groups. Four high speed lifts service levels B2 to level 42. Three separate high speed lifts service levels 43 to the penthouse on level 74.[6]

The building is supported by 26 piles, each two metres in diameter, that extend 40 metres into the ground passing through up to four metres (13 ft) of solid rock. Q1 contains one, two and three bedroom apartments.[3] Building facilities include two lagoon swimming pools, a lap pool, gymnasium, small theatre, a ballroom and a spa centre.[3]

An application to construct a walkway around the outside of level 78 was lodged with the Gold Coast City Council in mid 2010.[7]


In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, Q1 was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a "structure and engineering feat".[8]

Observation deck[edit]

Q1 observation deck view

SkyPoint, formerly known as QDeck, is an observation deck at levels 77 and 78. It is Australia's only beachside observation deck and has room enough for 400 people.[9] It towers 230 metres above the Surfers Paradise beach, giving viewers a 360 degree view of Brisbane to the north, the Gold Coast Hinterland to the west, Byron Bay, New South Wales, to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The express elevator to the observation deck travels the 77 floors in 43 seconds.[3]

Building condition[edit]

In 2009, reports of disrepair and poor building conditions emerged.[10] Peeling paint which has revealed rusty steel inside and outside, as well as shattered glass panels are amongst the visible concerns. The Building Services Authority has confirmed it has received complaints in relation to the building.[10] The north stairwell was assessed as defective due to the stairwell pressurisation system not meeting the minimum air flow requirements during a fire emergency.[11] The Building Services Authority asked Q1's builders to rectify the problem in July 2010.


Q1 has been used as a fireworks launch site during New Year's Eve celebrations. The building is one of the most popular destinations for students celebrating Schoolies Week, despite the body corporate committee treasurer's claims that most of the building's unit owners were opposed to their stay.[12]

On 28 March 2007, two base jumpers made an early morning jump from a northern side apartment.[13] Base-jumping is illegal in Queensland. The professional skydivers pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court and were fined A$750 without a conviction being recorded.[14]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Q1 - The Skyscraper Center". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. 
  2. ^ Emporis - Q1 Tower
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Kevin Pilley (13 November 2008). "Q1". The Sydney Morning Herald: Travel. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Jaime McKee Australian Landmark Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Australian Construction Focus. Focus Media Group Publication.
  5. ^ "100 Tallest Residential Buildings in the World". Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.holidayholiday.com.au/insider/q1-surfers-paradise
  7. ^ Tanya Westthorp (17 June 2010). "Q1's owners want to add thrilling skywalk up to tower's spire". The Gold Coast Bulletin. Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Bligh, Anna (10 June 2009). "PREMIER UNVEILS QUEENSLAND’S 150 ICONS". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Skypoint Facts & History". SkyPoint. Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Phil Bartsch (8 October 2009). "Q1 residential tower rusting, leaking and upsetting tenants". The Courier-Mail. Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Phil Bartsch (9 October 2009). "Q1 highrise stairwell 'defective'". The Courier-Mail. Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "Q1 hoping to expel Schoolies". The Sunday Mail. Queensland Newspapers. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "$750 fine for Q1 BASE jumpers". Brisbane Times. 1 May 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Daredevil pair fined for jumping off Gold Coast skyscraper". ABC New South Wales. Australian Broadcastion Corporation. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
21st Century Tower
Tallest all-residential building in the world
2005 - 2011
Succeeded by
The Marina Torch
Preceded by
120 Collins Street
Tallest building in Australia
2005 - present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Torre Agbar
Emporis Skyscraper Award (Silver)
Succeeded by
The Wave
(Gold Coast)
List of tallest buildings in Australia
Next shorter
Eureka Tower
Next taller
Heights are to highest architectural element.