SUNLAND Group has taken a giant leap back into the Gold Coast high rise market with plans for a $600 million redevelopment of Mariner's Cove.

The proposal, which features two sculptured towers of 44 storey each, is likely to spark spirited debate over high rise development on The Spit.

However, Sunland executive chairman Soheil Abedian has described the project as a world-class landmark development that will deliver a new cultural precinct for the city in a vibrant mixed-use setting.

"Mariner's Cove is an exceptional site worthy of monumental architecture," Abedian says.

"This proposal has the capacity to enable the Gold Coast to further define its cultural identity, not only through defining architecture, but also through the enhancement of the cultural aspects it will provide to the city."

Sunland has lodged a development application with the city council in a bid to transform the ageing Mariner's Cove site into a precinct that combines luxury living with the arts through a dedicated art gallery, museum and outdoor sculptural gardens.

It will be the Gold Coast's first privately-owned cultural precinct and will also feature an underground aquarium, as well as 1950sqm of ground-floor retail and dining space.

The twin-tower design, created in collaboration with Pritzker Prize winning architect Dame Zaha Hadid, will comprise 370 apartments and a boutique hotel of 69 suites. The design has a similar theme to Sunland's proposed three-tower redevelopment of the ABC studios along Brisbane's riverside in Toowong. That also was designed by Hadid.

Abedian describes the company's latest Gold Coast vision as "a work of art on an architectural scale" and "one of the greatest architectural undertakings in Sunland's 32-year history." He says it will be a "landmark destination of international significance and acclaim".

"Each residential tower is designed as if it were an organic, living form, with sinuous lines interlacing upwards from the tapered base, creating a sense of flow and movement," he says.

"This vibrancy is further brought to life by the reflection and interaction of the glass facade with its stunning Broadwater setting."At the ground plane, the towers merge seamlessly with public spaces dedicated to culture and the arts via an art gallery and museum, an outdoor sculptural art precinct, and conference centre.

"The museum's sweeping organic forms reflect the landscape of its unique location, symbolic of the dunal shapes distinctive to the Broadwater.

"The entire ground level has been designed as a continuous public amenity, with a plaza and waterfront promenade connecting retail and dining spaces, boardwalk gardens and pedestrian links.

"The underground aquarium, organically integrated in the landscape and plaza layout, completes the master plan."

Abedian says increasing the height of the project allows for a smaller development footprint to create "generous view lines and pedestrian access to the waterfront".

Sunland's plans for Mariner's Cove have been in development for some time. The company is understood to have originally proposed a larger-scale development that would have required the acquisition of vacant state government land adjacent to Mariner's Cove.

The company acquired Mariner's Cove from receivers for $13 million in 2011 and has indicated for a long time its intention to create a landmark development on the site.

The Mariner's Cove project is part of a $1.5 billion-plus development surge for the company on the Gold Coast. This week, Sunland announced the settlement of a $61 million deal to acquire the 41.9ha Lakeview site at Mermaid Waters, where it plans to build 1425 dwellings, including residential housing, townhouses and medium-rise buildings.

The Gold Coast still accounts for a significant portion of the now Brisbane-based Sunland's $4.3 billion national development portfolio.

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