Narellan Town Centre Opened

December 19, 2017

The $200M expansion of Narellan Town Centre in Sydney’s south-west, opened earlier this year by NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The expansion doubled the centre’s floor space from 35,000m² to more than 70,000m² and incorporated a sky bridge over Camden Valley Way, which joined the existing southern shopping precinct to the new northern sector. The completed additions make Narellan Town Centre the largest privately owned shopping centre in Australia. 

Buchan was appointed by Dartwest Developments in 2009 to provide architectural and interior design services to the project, revising the centre’s original design concept to create a modern town centre.

Sydney Project Director Anthony Palamara said he was excited to see the project come to completion recently, with the building fast becoming Sydney south-west’s new retail, food and recreational hub.

“The town centre is set to revitalise the Narellan precinct by acting as a catalyst for further high-quality developments in the area,” Mr Palamara said.

“The project brief was developed in conjunction with council planners and the owners Dartwest Developments.

“The process involved the consideration of international and local benchmarking to create a major townscape adorned with hard and soft landscapes, flanked by restaurants and an active plaza space.

“Our design narrative was to create a heart for Narellan that emphasised true pedestrian connectivity to the proposed elevated shopping precinct.

“The town centre’s external sky bridge, two entrance lobbies and sweeping retail facade have been designed to create a gateway landmark that embraces the restaurant precinct and civic plaza.

“In terms of standout features, the adjoining fashion-oriented sky bridge is the pinnacle of the centre’s extraordinary design. It links the north and south retail precincts seamlessly and effortlessly for shoppers.”

Mr Palamara said the town square was embraced by a sweeping upper-level façade, which was set back from the busy roadway.

“It’s refreshing to see the pedestrian links being used as we anticipated, with people walking along the new town square’s edge flanked by restaurants, shops, landscaping and water features,” he said. 

Materials for the project were kept simple and colours neutral to allow longevity, while large zones of glass created permeability in areas of pedestrian focus.

Northern Territory Shopping Oasis

December 12, 2017

Darwin residents have given the $8m refurbishment of The Oasis Shopping Village in Palmerston the tick of approval, welcoming the inviting design and upgraded amenities of the refreshed retail space.

Buchan was appointed by The RR Morriss Group to provide architectural, interior, graphic and branding design services to the project, revising the centre’s design to deliver a modern neighbourhood centre.

The 8,450m2 centre has been refreshed into a contemporary shopping space with a variety of retailers including a 4,000m2 Next Generation market-style Coles Supermarket anchoring the centre, a 24/7gym, a health and medical centre, 35 specialty stores and two other office tenancies.

The recent refurbishment has improved the centre’s common areas, including the creation of a casual dining precinct flanking the new mall entry, and an upper level extension providing the centre with a much stronger street presence. 

Buchan Senior Associate Anthony Tai said the long-awaited upgrades to the retail centre reflected strong local demand for access to fresh, new family friendly amenities and services.
“Our brief was to re-purpose an existing part of the centre which was under-utilised, and to refresh the whole centre,” Mr Tai said.

“To bring a renewed energy to the centre, the ground floor has been reconfigured to create a new casual dining precinct, accommodating an expanded and exciting mix of existing and new food offerings. New mall and amenities finishes have also been applied, and a spacious and well-equipped parents’ room added to cater for the need of families visiting the centre.

“The refurbished upper level, which also houses a dynamic corporate hub, has been refitted to include a 24 hour gym open to both employees and the general public.

“These works have redefined and strengthened Oasis Shopping Village as a convenient shopping hub for the local residents.”

Buchan Leads Design of $30m Harbour Town Expansion

November 28, 2017

The Buchan Group has unveiled its $30M expansion of Gold Coast outlet shopping destination Harbour Town.

Responsible for the architectural design of all public spaces in the precinct’s north-west extension, which opened its doors to shoppers earlier this year, the Buchan design has boosted the shopping  centre’s retail space by more than 3,500m² to accommodate an additional 25 premium fashion and lifestyle brands, including Adidas, Converse, Kathmandu and Lindt Chocolate Shop.

Buchan Group Principal Brett Saville said the centre’s new expansion would enhance Harbour Town’s  retail offering and further cement the centre’s reputation as the home of major Australian and international brands.

“Buchan’s design expands the quality shopping experience at Harbour Town and capitalises on the centre’s existing reputation as a must-see destination for visitors on the Gold Coast,” he said. 

“The new buildings in the centre’s north-west precinct boast glass, timber, concrete and steel finishes to accentuate a contemporary feel and complement the existing retail buildings.

“Our team drew on its extensive retail experience to create a new precinct that is complimentary to the existing centre while creating tenancies that suit the current and future requirements of the tenants. The solution also advances the design of the centre’s public spaces”. 

“Buchan Group has also overseen the upgrade to the new Luxury Precinct in the middle of the centre, where a richer palette of materials and increased use of vegetation combine to create a distinctly different environment."

“The success of the new expansion reflects the growth of Harbour Town Gold Coast as a retail and lifestyle destination for both tourists and locals alike.”

Buchan Group were the architects for the original development and were appointed to this expansion project in 2014 by centre owners Lewis land & Lend Lease.

Associate & Tenancy Services Manager, James Bayer

November 27, 2017

The Buchan Group is delighted to announce the promotion of James Bayer to Associate following his appointment to lead the Brisbane studio’s Tenancy Design team.

With a career at Buchan spanning 11 years, James is a skilled specialist in coordinating and managing tenancy design projects and has been pivotal in developing the Brisbane tenancy design team.

He is currently leading the Queensland division of the Home Consortium rollout project, which includes the transformation of 40 former Masters Stores into large format retail centres. The overall portfolio comprises more than 500,000 square metres of space making it the biggest rollout of new shopping centres in Australia’s retail history.

James manages the specialist Tenancy Services Team, providing a full suite of tenancy design management and coordination services with successful results having been achieved on a wide range of retail projects. 

These have been for retail centers which The Buchan Group has designed as well as centers that have been delivered by others.

Belmont Forum Dining Precinct

November 27, 2017

A new Buchan designed dining precinct at Belmont Forum has been a resounding success since its recent opening earlier this year. 

Part of the Centre’s $80M staged redevelopment for Perron Group, the new food offering with alfresco seating faces Belmont Avenue.  Entries along the precinct have been upgraded, along with the mall and new skylights leading to the Aldi Supermarket. 

The final stage, comprising new Fresh Food mall and new Coles, is currently under construction and due for completion mid 2018, and will create a stronger pedestrian connection from the Wright street garden entrance and the Faulkner Civic community precinct across the street.  A large mural will form part of the Centre’s Public Art strategy. 

The vibrant redevelopment and improved amenity has injected new life into Belmont Avenue and surrounds. The Buchan Perth team was led by Project Director Andre Jones.

Lakelands Town Centre

November 26, 2017

Construction of Stage 1 is complete at the newly opened Lakelands Town Centre, by PEET and ISPT. 

The Main street development comprises three anchors, along with specialty shops, gym, Childcare, Library and a Town Square. A car wash is to open shortly, and a Swimming school is currently under construction, due to be complete for April 2018. A tavern is also planned.

A range of centre-based activities involves the local community, such as food evenings. The pedestrian-oriented main street is able to be closed to traffic for markets and festivals.

Since opening, the centre has proven a big success with the local community with its vibrant mix of retail and lifestyle amenities.

The project was led by Director, Andre Jones.

Lines of Life – Singapore Rail Corridor Masterplan Awarded

November 22, 2017

The Lines of Life Rail Corridor Masterplan has won the Analysis and Masterplanning category of the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ Asia-Pacific Landscape Awards 2017.

Partnering with Nikken Sekkei, Buchan delivered the Signage and Wayfinding components of the Masterplan to develop a strategy to establish seamless connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, helping to create an inviting space for exploration and discovery across Singapore.

Hailed as Singapore’s version of New York City’s High Line, the total decommissioned rail corridor site is 24 kilometres long and is about 100 hectares in area, stretching from north to south across Singapore. Once complete, people will be able to cycle or walk its entire length, or access parts of the path at their leisure.

With its yellow and black colour palette, the wayfinding signage references the rustic character of the former railway and its overall identity as a green corridor. Walkers, joggers and cyclists are able to engage with the wayfinding program and immediately identify what their location is, how many kilometres they’ve covered and distance to amenities and rest points.

There is also interpretive signage along the path with more detailed information about art installations, adjacent facilities and botanical descriptions. As well as being a diverse physical environment, the rail corridor has immense spatial reach and is a timeless legacy for Singapore given its ecologically sensitive environment.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore held an international competition to transform the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Railway Line into a publicly accessible space. More information can be found at:  https://www.ura.gov.sg/ms/railcorridor/

Buchan Boosts Retail Presence In China

November 21, 2017

Construction on Raffles City Changning in Shanghai is complete, unveiling the latest instalment of Buchan’s Retail presence in China.  

Raffles City Changning comprises two retail podiums, three office towers and five heritage buildings restored from the former St Mary’s School – the first girls’ school in Shanghai – and will be a lifestyle destination that combines both new buildings and the site’s existing heritage buildings.

The integrated development will feature a large shopping mall, gourmet supermarket, cinema, restaurants and entertainment experiences. 

The significant retail project is the second Raffles City development in Shanghai for CapitaLand, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies.

Working collaboratively with P&T Architects from Hong Kong, The Buchan Group was responsible for the planning and interior design of the retail podium. 

Buchan Director Phil Schoutrop said CapitaLand wanted to replicate the success of Buchan’s previous work in Shanghai and create a unique mixed-use destination that complements the established culture and history in this western area of Shanghai.

“The biggest challenge for this project was the existing site conditions,” Mr Schoutrop said. 

“We needed to work around a number of heritage buildings and also the Shanghai Metro for which there are two lines next to, and under, the site. 

“The design aims to give the mall a unique elegant style of its own while acknowledging the rich historical heritage of St Mary’s School, the materials and textures of the area, and the changing local urban landscape.

“The mall is divided into two zones by the existing heritage buildings on the site. The ‘Great Lawn’ that sits between the buildings is a large open green space that, combined with the school buildings, forms a unique meeting and gathering space for the residents and customers alike. 

“Each part of the mall then houses different uses and spaces for different customers. A mixture of fashion and lifestyle tenants with entertainment, and dining options, combines to create a strong sense of journey and place for the locals and visitors alike,” he said. 

The retail component will encompass 114,761m2, almost half of the development’s 260,933m2 total size.

Shaping the future: Buchan designs Victoria’s largest mixed-use precinct

November 20, 2017


A new era in mixed use design is dawning in Melbourne’s suburbs with M-City billed to become the largest master planned community in Victoria.

Designed by The Buchan Group, the $1B project for Saraceno Group and Schiavello will create a viable alternative to city living where people can live, work, stay and play, all within a 35,000m2 site.

The dynamic community hub, will cater to just about everyone with its three residential towers, 26,000m2 retail mall anchored by Kmart, Woolworths and a Village cinema complex, a commercial office tower, a 5 star hotel and community facilities including a day care centre and medical centre. Strategically located close to Australia’s largest university, Monash, the development will also serve the growing influx of international students.

Principal Harvey Male said the project presents a new style of suburban living, with the right balance of infrastructure, shopping and lifestyle options providing the complete package of convenience and community outside of the CBD.

“M-City promotes a sea change in the mixed-use sector. People don’t always want to move too far from the area where they grew up or travel long distances for work or activities, and M-City offers 24 hour living in the one location with everything they need at their door,” said Harvey.

“A typical day in the life of an M-City resident might look like this: a workout in the gym in the morning, dropping off the kids at the on-site childcare centre, walking to work in the nearby education and science precinct, and a quick catch up with friends at the hotel bar before picking up dinner from Woolworths on the way home.”

The project’s community focus is reflected in Buchan’s design through the seamless integration of the apartment units with the commercial, entertainment and retail spaces and wider residential neighbourhood. The connection is enhanced via a sequence of public spaces, with links and trails and open landscaped areas creating a village atmosphere.  People can come together in the rooftop garden and enjoy leisure amenities including a pool and spa, gym, tennis court and a cabana patio designed for entertaining and BBQs.

“The main focus of the design was appropriate connectivity,” said Harvey.

“Functional connectivity in terms of linking the spaces and ease of traffic flow, but also emotional connectivity by creating a sense of place and community.”

Concepts of rhythm are woven into the design to reflect the project’s vision of a pulsing urban mini metropolis. A mix of tones and textures transform the feel of spaces according to their different uses and contexts, emphasising the experiential nature of each precinct. The rush of the retail spaces contrast with the calm of communal outdoor areas which are softened with natural materials and greenery.

The rhythmic theme carries through to the apartment interiors, which strike a balance between classic and contemporary. The light filled apartments are styled with high quality fixtures and finishes including mirrored splashbacks, 2 pack and timber joinery, and the beauty of natural stone with veining that suggests its own individuality. 

“The first residential tower sold out within two weekends of launching and 80% of buyers were locals,” said Harvey.

“That gives you an indication of the demand for this type of lifestyle.”

M-City is expected to be completed in 2021.

Malls are changing: Victoria’s first shopping centre hotel

November 20, 2017

As a guest at the Sage Hotel in Ringwood, if you happen to forget your toothbrush or even leave your suitcase at home there’s no need to go without as there’s a three level shopping mall right below.

The vision of a hotel atop one of Australia’s largest shopping malls underpins the evolution and revolution of shopping malls – one that is the future of retail.

Having undergone a $665 million redevelopment in 2016, Eastland and the Town Square reinvigorated the civic heart of Ringwood in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Today, the addition of the $25 million tower for QIC positions the precinct as a world class integrated retail, entertainment and leisure destination.

The four level tower rises above Eastland’s south-east corner over the four level rooftop carpark. The 120 room hotel features first class facilities including a lobby lounge level dedicated to meeting rooms, function spaces, a restaurant, bar and gym.

A guest’s stay might begin with checking emails in the co-working spaces before hitting the shops for some retail therapy followed by a manicure in Eastland’s Beauty Mall precinct. The afternoon could include a tasting tour through the Yarra Valley, before heading back to Sage for a drink at the High and Dry bar, dining at a Town Square restaurant or watching a movie in the new powered recliner seating at Hoyts cinemas. It’s the complete package.

Having played a major role in the design and delivery of the shopping centre, Town Square and integrated library, Realm, Buchan is very proud to continue the Eastland story, working with QIC and Acme to deliver architectural services for the hotel.

The hotel’s stunning interiors focus on spaces that reflect and connect with the community. The hotel lobby and lounge feature polished exposed aggregate concrete floors and spaces are defined by contemporary styling and sleek furniture to reflect the modern nature of the new hotel.

Ahead of the curve, Eastland is seamlessly integrating shopping and hospitality - ticking all the boxes for hotel guests, whether they be tourists, business travellers or even Boxing Day shoppers eager to get in early for the sales!

Luxury Living at Horizon Mission Bay, Auckland

November 16, 2017

Horizon Mission Bay is Location Group’s newest venture featuring a one-of-a-kind luxury 41-strong apartment building which is nestled into a hilltop, overlooking the Auckland city skyline and Hauraki Gulf.

Horizon has been designed to nestle into the hillside to maximise the expansive views of ocean, islands and greenery to the north connecting the city and beach with Mission Beach’s relaxed, leafy urban environment.

Featuring one, two and three bedroom apartments, as well as three penthouse options, the design incorporates open-plan living areas and large courtyard balconies to take advantage of natural light, ventilation and views.

Buchan Principal Rob Guild said apartments feature open-plan living areas and large courtyard balconies to take advantage of natural light, ventilation and views. 

“A natural colour palette and timber flooring further emphasise Horizon’s relationship with the surrounding landscape. Heavy concrete blades on the exterior will respond to weather conditions, and change colour as the building matures and blends with the site.”

"Sunrooms have been introduced to the southern apartment balconies to extend living areas to the building’s edge. This increases the impact of daylight and inland views so residents can enjoy the space in comfort at all times." 

Penthouses feature Gaggenau appliances, bespoke Italian porcelain benchtops, natural veneer and finger-printless cabinetry, wide-panel smoked oak flooring, three-car garaging and a storage unit. 

A special emphasis had been given to the entrance design of Horizon, with a sunken floor and vertical bamboo gardens to feature, as well as three lift cores providing private access to all apartments. 

Horizon Mission Bay is located at 250-254 Kepa Road, Mission Bay, Auckland City. Construction is expected to begin next year (2018).

Susumu Horikawa from Nikken Sekkei shares global perspectives on green building innovations

September 27, 2017

Susumu Horikawa, Executive Officer and Principal with the M&E Engineering Division of our alliance partner Nikken Sekkei, recently visited our Melbourne studio to share his expertise on the latest innovations in sustainability in Japan. Susumu-san has been involved in many award winning sustainability projects and strives for the unification of environmental building service design and architectural programs to excel in building performance.

In honour of World Green Building Week, we caught up with him to get his insights into sustainability in the built environment.

1. What is Nikken Sekkei’s philosophy on sustainability?

First of all, we try to get to know our clients’ thought processes well. With our tag line “EXPERIENCE, INTEGRATED” at the forefront, we make an effort to provide our clients with new value by integrating architecture, structure and MEP technologies. 

In addition, we often apply Japanese traditional techniques such as “Sudare” (a shading device), “Engawa” (porches with eaves) and “Uchimizu” (a water sprinkling system) to new projects.

2. What sustainable innovations are currently occurring globally? What is the focus on now?

New technologies such as radiant cooling systems, TABS and lighting environment design based on perceived brightness tend to be applied to our new projects. Thermal Active Building Systems (TABS) is an air-conditioning system for which heat capacity is utilized. The lighting system we employ provides optimal brightness for occupants, with consideration for not only the amount of light falling on a surface (illuminance) but also the amount of light entering the eye (luminance).

We also regard IoT as innovative because we believe it not only contributes to effective control of building facilities, but also management of occupants, which raises productivity.

3. What sustainability trends do you foresee in the future?

As many people are interested in WELL Building Standards, we believe that careful attention to an occupant’s health, as well as energy savings, are becoming more important.

4. What are some sustainable initiatives you have implemented within Nikken projects?

The initiatives I mentioned previously such as radiation cooling systems and lighting environment design are embodied in our projects including the YKK80 Building (the headquarters of YKK Corporation) and Daikin TIC (the R&D Center of Daikin Industries Ltd.).  Both projects received ASHRAE Technology Awards as well as LEED Platinum certification.

TABS is adopted in Shogakukan HQ, a famous Japanese publishing company, which is recognised as the next generation sustainable building.  

5. What steps can clients/landlords/developers take to add value or future proof their assets?

Clients, landlords and developers tend to rate buildings which can enhance an occupant’s health and productivity highly. I therefore believe they will focus on achieving certification for LEED and the WELL Building Standard to ensure people understand how attractive such buildings are.