Griffith University architecture student Sobi Slingsby has won the top prize for a designcompetition for a Gold Coast casino at The Spit, winning a trip to France.

The 23-year-oldMaster of Architecture student’s ideas impressed judges and won her an overseas architecture experience.

The judges panel consisted of an impressive team of industry professionals including Dean LaVigne, architect and development director from ASF, the company negotiating a real casino at The Spit.

The development of a casino at The Spit is a controversial issue and Sobi admitted she wanted to create the best design for all stakeholders, while still keeping climate change and rising sea levels in mind.

Long-term planning and climate change considerations were central to her design, which features floating pods unaffected by rising sea levels and do not interfere with green space.

Innovative use of floating pods

The pods are an innovative building for a casino, but could also be rented out for a multitude of other uses.

Mr LaVigne said Sobi’s design dealt with real issues facing The Spit and her high-end private gaming villas could be rented by people, which was a practical feature.

“The Spit is valued for its natural environment and space for free activities such as picnics and surfing,” she said.

“People don’t want another high rise, so I aimed to consider the needs of the community as well.”

Sobi’s classmate, Ben Campbell, proposed an impressive design of an underground casino that could mend the divide between developers and environmentalists on this topic.

Traditional approach challenged

Mr Campbell, believes that the traditional approach to building a casino should be challenged.

By making the building half underground, with grass on the roof it may be a solution to keep everyone happy.

“This design would align more with what the community is looking for,” he said.

Sobi is looking forward to her France trip, sponsored by the French Embassy, where she will learn from architecture students and gain a unique perspective on European architecture.

“The Australian climate is very different to what they’re used to and I look forward to explaining how Gold Coast architecture works.”

Sobi’s success was made possible thanks to Griffith University Associate Professor Karine Dupre and Lecturers Dr Ruwan Fernando and Dr Henry Skates.

2015 French Embassy Prize winner Matthew Boyle