Architecture, Urban Design

Nova Cairns

In this competition winning design, CA Architects approached the development of a brownfield site on the edge of Cairns CBD by taking a slice of the history and context of the site and formed it into a defining vision for the masterplan.

With the brief requiring a high density development with 7 towers on the site, we knew that one of the keys to success was providing a vibrant corridor though the site, and the metaphor of Lily creek inspired an organic canopy which flows through to a “lagoon” plaza in the heart of the development. As a result of this “big idea” approach, we have been able to develop a flexible yet coherent building and landscape language which gives order to the development whilst allowing high density accommodation without becoming oppressive. This has allowed us to achieve development approval for much higher density and taller buildings than meet the deemed-to-satisfy parts of the Cairns Planning Scheme. Due to its size and nature the site has been very attractive to various universities and inner-city campus.

Nova introduces a new dimension of public space to the city.  The creation of a pedestrian focused streetscape lined with outdoor dining and retail outlets is unique in Cairns.  The intimate scale and cosmopolitan café culture nestled amongst a landscape of sparkling ponds, waterfalls and shady street trees provide and unmistakeable sense of place.  The podium deck links all seven towers above the street.  The luxurious tropical urban habitat has variety of spaces to explore.