Retail, public space and landscaping in Canberra, Australia, inspired by the past and redesigned for the future
In a continuing collaboration with Australian retail developer QIC Global Real Estate (QICGRE), Universal Design Studio created the masterplan and detailed designs to restore and revitalize 14,680 sq. m of retail, public space and landscaping in Canberra, Australia, with a new masterplan and newly designed façades, interior architecture and exterior spaces.
Urban development on this scale begins with a period of listening. For Universal, that meant reengaging with the aspirations of the architect of the original civic masterplan, Walter Burley, whose desire it was to create an optimistic city ‘unlike any other in the world’. Universal’s new design maintained the Ainslie and Monaro Malls’ significance within the public realm but recognised the changing needs of today’s consumers, for whom a retail space is no longer simply about a commoditised shopping experience but better-integrated centres that offer broader civic, cultural and commercial opportunities.
Universal transformed the Monaro Mall from mall to mixed-use retail, redesigning all internal and external QICGRE-owned areas. Entrances were re-modelled, damaged parts of the original Carrara marble façade were restored, and 100-metre linear arched canopies were reintroduced to provide shade for a new parade of shop fronts. On the ground floor, the Beauty Arcade offers 800 sq. m of beauty departments floor and 1,960 sq. m of beauty boutiques. This acknowledges the era of the original building, but feels distinctly crisp and contemporary.
Brands have been encouraged to offer treatments and beauty services alongside conventional retail, whilst customers can choose to peruse the space or browse and buy products and digitally.
By emphasising the civic significance of this landmark project, the remodelled Canberra Centre gives the city and its residents somewhere to meet up and spend time as much as to shop. Most importantly, it restores civic pride in a key public asset, providing a boost for the city of Canberra at both a local and national level.
Material Used :
1. Calcatta Marble – Facade – International Tile agency
2. Calcatta Oro Marble – Flooring – International Tile agency
3. Bardiglio marble - Flooring – International Tile agency
4. Resin based terrazzo - Flooring - Santa Margherita, London G07
5. Resin based terrazzo - Flooring - Santa Margherita, Arabescato Bianco B106
6. Resin based terrazzo - Flooring - Santa Margherita, Fior de Pesco D125
7. Arabescato Orobico Marble - Flooring & walls - International Tile agency
8. Carrara C marble - Flooring - International Tile agency
9. Jesmonite - Ceiling / void edge - AC730 Forticrete grey
10. Barrisol - Ceiling - Barrisol
11. Bardiglio Novulato (honed) - Columns / verticals - International Tile agency
12. Brushed brass - Various - Local contractor
13. Brushed stainless steel - Various - Local contractor
14. Polished stainless steel - Brand portals - Local contractor
15. Brushed aluminum - Feature ceiling - Local contractor
16. Spotted Gum timber - Circulation walls - Local contractor
17. Sonaspray - Ceiling voids - K13 Local contractor
18. LG Hi Macs - VM display - T017 Andromeda Local contractor
19. Kvadrat fabric - Retail space - Time 300 880