We all know that the ideal site for a shopping centre is big, flat and has sightlines that stretch for miles. We also know that in existing suburbs such sites are not easy to locate, particularly when the residential growth has taken all of the available flat land. So when our client approached us with a concept to put a supermarket-anchored centre on a block with a serious cross-fall in a man-made valley of apartment towers we jumped at the challenge this represented for traditional retail solutions.
The answer was to use the topography and surrounding neighbourhood rather than pushing against it. POWE Architects located the main body of the supermarket to activate the street frontages and moved the car parking to the rear of the site. The slope of the land was then put to work to sleeve the majority of car parking and service vehicles under the building with verdant landscape buffers, decorative screens, and acoustic buffers to the residential neighbours to provide amenity and privacy.
The building form achieves a high-quality architecture and urban design response through modulation and articulation at the pedestrian level, a contemporary and visually attractive design, geometric elements, different wall cladding, screening elements, integrated signage and lighting. Elements above the pedestrian level provide overlooking activation of the facade through the inclusion of active walkways and windows to what would normally be blank service zones. The architectural language and materials palette of the centre enhances the Centre zone character through incorporating contrasting materials of steel, timber and brick and a broad range of colours that work with on extending tenant branding to a modern, attractive commerce centre.
The development application for Coles Varsity Lakes was lodged 17/09/2021.
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