Soul Apartments, Surfers Paradise

Soul tower, Surfers Paradise - Balustrades, sliding doors and fixed windowsSoul Apartments were constructed at an exclusive location by the water at the heart of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The tower reaches 77 storeys, including 2 levels of commercial premises at the base, one level of leisure facilities for the resident population and the tower above devoted to lifestyle apartments.

The 243m high building was designed by DBI Design PL and built by Grocon, under the direction of the Juniper Group.  The tower is situated at the end of Cavill Avenue – the popular shopping strip at Surfers Paradise. G.James Glass & Aluminium won the contract to supply the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing – including windows, doors, louvres, curtain wall, sun blades and balustrades.

The Residential Tower Facade

The residential tower consists of 288 apartments with a variety of glazing types – a curtain wall face, balconies with sliding doors and windows. The sheer curtain wall façade was produced using the 650 Series glazing system, and fitted between the concrete support columns. Sky blue laminated glass contrasts well with the white columns in the marine setting.  The majority of the project’s extrusions were powder coated (finished) in Eternity Steel – a dark finish that blended into the shadow lines.

The balcony glazing utilizes the 445 Series sliding doors, 450 Series fixed windows and 415 Series louvres. The balustrading for the tower was done with 571 Series. At the top of the building, the shape of the balustrade glass was raked from level 60 and above to support the curved aspect. The raked balustrades required special layouts and bracketry specific to the level they are installed on to make the curve regular.

The tower colour scheme contrasts vivid blue sections with predominantly white areas.  The blue areas were created using sky blue glass, the same as the sheer wall. The white areas use a Cool Grey glass. The Balustrades match the colour coding of the area they fall in, and intensify the look with a reflective coating.

Sun blades are installed on the upper portion of the tower.  The south face at the sub penthouse level has large angular alpolic blades fitted to the Juliet balconies, creating a visual feature and angled to block harsh glare.

Commercial Levels

On the lower commercial levels, 3 floors high, G.James supplied the ceramic printed toughened glass (installed by others) and balustrading. The ceramic printed toughened glass for the awnings has a creeping fern pattern.  The 571 Series balustrades for the first 3 floors were internal and external, and include the the shopping plaza. 

QuickAlly Access

QuickAlly Access Solutions (a G.James business) supplied scaffolding to replace damaged balustrade, recently.  The affected glazing occured on level 6 and level 75.  Both balustrade glazing occur on balconies with limited space to provide a cantilever, so solutions were suggested and engineered to find the best approach. Ladder beams and other Systems Scaffold products were used for a suspended platform to provide safe access to the high risk heights.

The Effect

The glazing on this project makes a stunning impression from inside and out, and could not be accomplished without a high level of design and coordination. It was a great opportunity to contribute to an iconic building.

Glass for a V.I.P. – Very Important Polar bear

G.James Glass supply for Polar Bear Cub Viewing Panel

Polar bears are one of the most popular bears that we endear ourselves to.  Large and cuddly, yet so fierce. It is with fascination and awe that we can look on these creatures and catch a glimpse into their lives. Here in Australia, you can only do this from a viewing platform that has a clear, wide and very secure glass barrier.

With news of the resident female polar bear, Leah’s, pregnancy, Sea World engaged the builders, Astute assist them with the construction of a new polar bear enclosure. G.James Glass & Aluminium were sought for the supply of the glass viewing panels.

A new addition to the Sea World Polar Bear family

Leah has been living with Nelson and Hudson (who are twin brothers) in a large enclosure at Sea World. The prospect of the cub came as a little surprise, as Leah was not known to be pregnant until late into her 8 month gestation period.  Cub twins were born in May 2013 to Leah and father, Nelson. Unfortunately, only one has made it to this age, but Henry is doing very well. A new enclosure was required as the mother and cub needed to be separated from the male bears. Leah needs to care for her offspring and males have been known to try and eat cubs.

Designing a New Enclosure

Work on a new enclosure was started immediately. The planning and layout for the enclosure began 10 years ago, but the final design still needed to be resolved.  It was done in cooperation with the polar bear keepers, Sea World officials and biology professionals to ensure the safety and well being of the new inhabitants.

The majority of the enclosure is concrete and timber with the glass viewing panel making up the majority of one wall – all products need to be non toxic. The layout was designed to be aesthetically reminiscent of a polar bears natural habitat and in keeping with the existing enclosure.  It includes two ice wells (ponds where ice can be left for exploration and play), a waterfall, chilled sea water pool, trees and three cooling misters. The pool has loops in the bottom of it which toys can be attached to for the polar bears to play with.

The polar bear entrance is a wide area that is partially hidden from the viewing area, and so rocks have been strategically positioned to discourage the polar bears from hiding in this corner.  This area was in its final stages of preparation when we visited, and mobile scaffolding made by QuickAlly Access Solutions was being used to support the workers completing the job.

The more serious aspects of the pen are an isolated waste catching system, security door locking mechanisms, and a safety escape niche. Polar Bears are never tamed. Keepers cannot be in an enclosure with them, as they are at risk of being attacked.   The security door prevents the polar bear door to open while keepers are in the enclosure, and in case of failure, the niche only fits a person, and has an alarm button in it to highlight help is required.

The risk factor when in close quarters with bears makes the viewing panel not only important for visitors, but it is the only area they can be easily watched by their keepers at eye level.  All photography for recording the animals behaviour and publicity purposes are taken through this panel.

The Viewing Panel

The type of glass used in the polar bear enclosure is specified. The glazing has to be thick and secure enough to ensure the safety of the polar bears, and visitors. Four layers of glass, laminated together ensure this. The glass is around 40mm thick and each of the 8 viewing panes weigh 495kg. Polar bears will scratch at the glass, and these scratches need to be polished out every couple of years. The edges of the glass, and gaps in between need to be specially designed. Polar Bears will test edges and explore gaps, so they are constructed to minimise their ability to grip and claw areas.

On completion of the enclosure, officials from the Australian Institute of Marine Science inspect the final result. Any potential hazards or dangerous surfaces are highlighted and addressed prior to the polar bears being introduced to their new surrounds.

The Cubs Entrance to Public Life

Leah has been monitored daily since the birth of her cubs. She was living in her “maternity ward” and exercising in a special enclosure for the polar bears until September. Her new home was opened to her in mid September, and it was expected she would explore it for a week or two before she and the cub were comfortable with their new surroundings.  It has since been opened to the public.

G.James Glass supply for Polar Bear Cub Viewing Panel

In Comparison to a Wild Life

In the wild, a mother will lie in a dormant state (similar to hibernation) in a den made inland of snow and ice for about the second half of the gestation period. After birth, the cubs are reared in the den for the first couple of months of their lives before being introduced to the world. The cubs have about 2 weeks to gain their strength and learn to walk over distance and run before journeying to the sea. They spend between 1 ½ and 2 ½ years with their mother before going out on their own.

Click on the images for more Polar Bear facts.

Eagle Farm Bus Depot – A G.James All Rounder

G.James, Gossi Park and QuickAlly Access Solutions at the Bus DepotA project showcasing the many products G.James Glass & Aluminium and affiliates produce, is due to open next week. Facets of the G.James organisation, including metal fabrication, Gossi Park & Street Furniture, glass and QuickAlly Access Solutions scaffolding, have made their own way to be part of a humble bus depot.

The Eagle Farm Bus Depot has been recently constructed on Schneider Road in Brisbane. It spreads out over a large area that is mainly car park, or bus park, for the automotive fleet. The industrial surrounds of the location require an outdoor area that is visually protected, yet bright and airy. These qualities were put in place by architects Nettleton Tribe and built by Adco, with landscape work sub contracted out to Penfold Projects.

Setting the scene in an industrial neighbourhood

The brilliant colour of the louvres dominates the skyline, blocking out the surrounding visual hubbub of transport. The powder coat colours chosen, Dulux Duratec Intensity Yellow and Interpon Ultriva Sensation Gloss orange stand out from the background colour, Dulux Zeus Silver Grey. They are randomly alternated, and square and elliptical profiles were used to enhance the arbitrary nature of the feature screens.

The south side of the building uses horizontal louvres. It overlooks the parking spaces for the buses.  The horizontal lines making it easier to see through these to monitor the movements of the buses coming and going, while still allowing the colour and striation to make a visual impact.

The north side of the building has an outdoor seating area that uses vertical louvres as a fence like barrier. They vary in height to follow the incidental theme, making the area less formal and lending more interest.

Quick Solutions

G.James Joinery or Light Metal Fabrication Department won the tender through Adco to coordinate the design, manufacture, production and installation of the louvres.

The on site installation was sub contracted to a company that utilise the QuickAlly aluminium mobile towers scaffolding system. They used this to access the top of the posts and higher louvres (or higher end of the louvres in the vertical areas). It was an ideal situation for the mobile scaffolds, as their height is adjusted simply to meet the level of the work area. They are lightweight and able to be manoeuvred easily along the louvres providing a safe, secure platform to do the installation from.

Creating atmosphere

The finishing touches, to make the place welcoming and user friendly, were provided by Gossi Park & Street Furniture. Gossi’s products were specified by the architect, Nettleton Tribe, and were coordinated through Penfold Projects.

21 settings are scattered in two areas, using Access Tables and Parkway Seats. Access Table are disability compliant, and positioning of the Parkway seating allows enough space for wheelchair use.

The “planks” of the furniture have been powder coated a reddish brown for a timber look – a colour called Headland. The frame and legs are powder coated Shale Grey – a matt metallic look. Using aluminium planks provides a longer lasting, low maintenance product, and the powder coat will allow it to retain its original look. Please note, these products are in shaded areas. Using powder coat in the sun can cause the products to heat up to uncomfortable levels.

There are four BCC waste bin enclosures to house garbage bins provided – two to each area for recycling and general waste. They are ideal for concealing waste, and easy to empty. They are the preferred bin used by the Brisbane City Council for their ease of use and stylish design. The furnishings and landscaping of the area exudes a pleasant vibe for professionals to take time out and congregate.

A glass choice that is no surprise

On site another sub contractor has independently chosen our product for use in the buildings glazing. The overall impact of all the products that have come together under separate circumstances is a delightful find. It is good to know the quality and professionalism of G.James service and products are utilised and appreciated by many, and can come together in jobs such as these for some spectacular results.

Access all areas with QuickAlly, G.James’ scaffolding business

QuickAlly, BrisbaneQuickAlly Access Solutions is an expanding branch of the G.James family. It manufactures and provide solutions in a wide variety of scaffolding equipment and specific custom designs, geared and engineered for unique purpose. The quality is of the highest industry standard, with safety, usability and best practise at the heart of its design.

QuickAlly – Height of Safety


QuickAlly Aluminium Scaffolds

The quickally scaffolding system was developed around the turn of the millenium by experienced Gold Coast scaffolder David Dart. Having been in the scaffolding business for about 30 years, David’s frustration at being unable to find a simple, high quality aluminium scaffolding system led him to develop, manufacture & start selling his own system. The benefits of the system were obvious to others in the industry, leading it to be quickly adopted by a number of scaffolding businesses.

G.James Access Equipment

G.James developed a simple mobile scaffolding system to use, primarily for in house jobs, in 1991 (developed in 1991, testing complete in 1992) and a Trestle Safety System in 1998. Custom products were also being made from this time.

Due to requests in the market for a scaffolding product with more features and abilities, G.James looked at ways it could expand its range. Looking at alternatives, QuickAlly impressed G.James with their smart design principles and wide product selection that would enhance the G.James range. The acquisition was completed in May 2010.

QuickAlly Access Solutions

Quickally’s original headquarters were on the Gold Coast.  However with its purchase by G.James and amalgamation with G.James Access Equipment, there were obvious benefits of moving to Brisbane.  The move took place in April 2011, and now positioned alongside G.James’ existing manufacturing facilities.  The two departments compliment each other under the one roof as Quickally Access Solutions.

QuickAlly Today

QuickAlly provides access solutions for hire and purchase, from ladders and step platforms to trestles and planks; scaffolding trailer packs through to multi storey systems. The range includes approximately 300 products – a number that grows with demand. The selection has solutions for everyone into home improvements, construction and maintenance – for the do it yourself types, tradies, builders and industry departments from aerospace to defence and emergency services.

Super Scaffolding Systems

QuickAlly provide complete mobile and systems scaffolding that can be added to with an expanding business. The scaffolding design is based on a triangulated star configuration that provides the ultimate in strength, speed and flexibility on site. The product list caters to gain access to any configuration required. Many safety features make this system attractive to today’s building site requirements. Careful attention to detail and troubleshooting common concerns on site means the systems features are designed to work for you in the best ways possible.

Innovative Custom Products

Their custom designed products are a comprehensive service. The process goes from understanding the needs of the customer, drafting up solutions, manufacture and delivery of product, providing engineering data and safety manuals. Post sales support include maintenance and future design changes for evolving use of products.

Expect The Best

All products are thoroughly engineered and rigorously tested to meet or better Australian, New Zealand and international standards. Risk assessments and safety developments are continuously monitored and adopted as business practise. After sales support assist with troubleshooting and continuing product development.

Where You Can Find QuickAlly

Currently, there are hire branches located in Sydney and Brisbane servicing the NSW and SE Queensland areas, and dry hire (product supply only) can be arranged nationwide. Purchase of the QuickAlly scaffolding products are available through G.James outlets anywhere in Australia. Custom access solutions are tailored to the needs of the customer in Australia or overseas, via their new warehouse and processing facility in Brisbane.

Meet the Team

The friendly team members all have many years experience in the industry and are happy to assist with any queries. The dedicated hotline for sales and hire is:

13 25 59

Keep in touch with the team, here: