Seven boss Ryan Stokes lodges plans for Palm Beach apartment development Akuna

Akuna, which derives from the Aboriginal word meaning “flowing water," will span nine levels and have 13 apartments
Seven boss Ryan Stokes lodges plans for Palm Beach apartment development Akuna
The proposed entry level with amenities. Image - Gold Coast City Council
Joel Robinson June 28, 2021

The Seven Group media heir Ryan Stokes is set to develop an apartment block on his recently acquired double block on Gold Coast’s Palm Beach.

Stokes, managing director and chief executive of Seven Group Holdings which his father Kerry Stokes founded in 1991, recently doubled the size of his Jefferson Lane holding, paying $4,625,000 for a holiday home on 406 sqm. That gave him a total of 814 sqm. Stokes spent $3,375,000 on a four bedroom home on 408 sqm next door in 2016.

And now Stokes has lodged plans for Akuna, a boutique block of just 13 apartments designed by the Brisbane-based Modulus Architecture at 39-41 Jefferson Lane, Palm Beach.

Akuna, which derives from the Aboriginal word meaning “flowing water," will span nine levels and comprise nine three bedroom apartments and four four bedroom apartments.

Seven boss Ryan Stokes lodges plans for Palm Beach apartment development Akuna

One of the three beds will sit on the ground floor, next to the ground level resident amenity of a gym, lap pool, spa and communal rec space.

The four levels above will have two apartments per floor until level six. From there there will be four single level apartments, the four bedders, which span over 265 sqm.

Crowning the apartment development is another resident amenity level, featuring a mother pool, sun deck, built-in barbecue space and external dining space.

There will be 34 parking spaces across the two basement level garaging, and bicycle parking for 17.

The development is oriented toward the vistas of Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta and the Gold Coast Hinterland. 

Seven boss Ryan Stokes lodges plans for Palm Beach apartment development Akuna

“Apartments have been designed with sub-tropical Queensland living in mind, providing expansive living zones opening out to external balconies whilst offering zones for relaxation and privacy,” the design statement submitted to the Gold Coast City Council by Modulus Architecture notes.

“Externally, Akuna is articulated with a series of balconies and façade breaks to develop an architectural language that speaks to the origin of the development’s name; Akuna meaning flowing water. 

“Linear elements roll and curl along the facade, in the same way as a wave curls before breaking on the shoreline. A refined palette of materials references Queensland coastal vernacular, composed of linear timber boards, flowing concrete forms and ornate fenestration. 

“Contextually, the development is conveniently located within proximity to a range of retail, restaurant and wellness facilities, providing residents with an increased level of amenity.”

Seven boss Ryan Stokes lodges plans for Palm Beach apartment development Akuna

Architectural Design Statement

Architectural Design 

Taking inspiration from the curls of a breaking wave, Akuna’s sculptural form evokes a sense of fluidity and calm. Concrete upstands bend and curve their way around each articulated floor plate and terminate much like a wave crashing back into the ocean. Each floor level is articulated with a series of breaks and extensions that mirror the effect of natural resonance. Pushing in and out to provide balconies and quiet moments to view the magnificent coastline. 

Built Form 

The sculptural form appears to float over the street level but seamlessly integrate with the natural surroundings along the beach front. Akuna is study in horizontality, broken by finite vertical elements. Slab extensions and breaks are positioned so as to provide glimpses to the water but provide privacy to neighbouring sites. Setbacks are considered with the view to reduce overlooking. Rear setbacks to balconies are calculated from the Sea Wall A-Line, with the street front setbacks exceeding four metres to the bulk form of the building. Elegant curves wrap and fold around the façade whilst providing a level of protection to the apartments from the afternoon sun. Bedrooms and living spaces are positioned to capture vistas north to Surfer’s Paradise and south to Coolangatta. Noting the 29m height limit, Akuna looks to maximise its coastal outlook by providing a series of elevated roof zones which follow the natural contour of the ground. All 9 levels are contained within the stated 29m height limit.

Seven boss Ryan Stokes lodges plans for Palm Beach apartment development Akuna

Urban Design Intent 

Akuna looks to provide a complementary and respectful design outcome to the developing and vivacious Palm Beach locale. A secure lobby entry is provided on grade from the street level, providing a central point for the collection of mail and meeting of guests. Flanked by lush sub-tropical gardens, a private access stair is provided for the ground level unit. Communal recreation facilities are provided on the ground level, allowing for a series of internal and external recreation activities to take place. Direct connection to the beachfront boundary on grade provides resident’s and their guests the opportunity to access the beach or enjoy the coastal vista from the privacy of their outdoor terrace. A pool and sculptural planting creates an increased level of activation to the street and provides the opportunity for passive surveillance to the public footpath and street face to the north of the site. Car & bicycle parking is contained within the basement zone, providing four visitor carparks accessible from the street, and an additional 30 residential carparks secured behind an access controlled gate. Bicycles are located within the basement, with a collection of visitor bicycles located on grade adjacent the lobby. 


A refined palette of carefully selected materials envelope the elegantly winged floorplates; profiled concrete provides a reference to the striations of shells, whilst the battened façade screens allude to the natural tones and colours of found items along the shoreline. Clear glazing is interwoven with timber boards to add contrast and texture to the adjacent smooth concrete ‘curls’

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is the Editor in Chief at, managing Urban's editorial team and creating the largest news cycle for the off the plan property market in the country. Joel has been writing about residential real estate for nearly a decade, following a degree in Business Management with a major in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University in England. He specializes in off the plan apartments, and has a particular interest in the development application process for new projects.

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