Cutting costs, not corners

Wednesday 04 Nov 2009

NH Architecture completes new HQ in Melbourne

Melbourne’s new headquarters for the US retailer Costco, designed by NH Architecture, demonstrates how large format retailing need not conform to the traditional stereotype of a big pitched-roof shed. The project challenges this precept by combining Costco’s globally successful retail strategy with planning authority VicUrban’s design agenda promoting quality contemporary architecture and public space.

Located adjacent to Melbourne’s new tourist venture, the Southern Star Observation Wheel, and seen from a number of major entry routes into the central city, the project responds to its surroundings by transforming the image of a wholesale shed into an abstract and monumental form. The leading edge of the roof cantilevers towards the arrival intersection and provides shelter to a newly created public plaza, linking the project to the Docklands’ broader pedestrian networks.

Costco’s 14,000m2 floor plan, a constant throughout their stores in the US, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and the UK, is delivered within a broader ambition to create a genuine urban space and public architecture.

With the design of this building, NH Architecture has gone beyond the simple definition of what was required, and although the architectural language is neither complex nor ornate, the design of its form gives something back to the area which in recent years has been a disused wasteland.

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