South Lake Recreational Retail Center was designed specifically to take advantage of the scenic surroundings and create a direct connection between a public space and the nearby lake. As the water travels through the constructed wetlands at the North Lake, continues through the meandering waterway of Central Park and onwards through the wetland park and wildlife habitat, it is intensely cleansed and fortified; by the time it reaches the South Lake it is crystal clear. Studio Shift have utilised this process in their design, including a rental facility where visitors can rent various watercraft, which are then launched directly from the rental store into a neighbouring private channel. There is also a small restaurant and cafe at the terminus of the pier, with both indoor and outdoor seating to take full advantage of the waterside location.
The complex consists of three buildings, (a recreational retail store, an equipment rental structure and a restaurant facility), conceptually carved from one solid entity and reconnected by a public plaza. Locally sourced materials were used in the construction of the stone-clad facade, yet the main aesthetic highlight in terms of architectural development is arguably a glass-clad void which houses outdoor climbing surfaces. Within an outer glass-clad void is inserted another faceted, conical void, all contained within the solid mass of the building’s general structure. The edge of the south-facing plaza is designed to slope gently into the waters of the South Lake, allowing visitors to the centre to paddle or take a dip. The complete project is anticipated to be finished by summer 2012.