New face for 1920s icon

Wednesday 12 Oct 2011

Art Deco beauty of Myer's flagship Melbourne store reinvigorated by NH Architecture

Myer’s city store has long held a position as a civic elder to the public life of Melbourne. Centrally located in the Bourke Street Mall, the store has witnessed a century of the city’s evolution and has played host to many of its most memorable rituals and festivals, becoming an iconic symbol of Melbourne.

However after years of retail service the city store could no longer compete as an internationally recognised department store in the rapidly evolving and sophisticated consumer market. In 2007 NH Architecture, with its client Colonial First State Global Asset Management, won the commission to rejuvenate Myer’s Melbourne store, restoring its place as an admired city landmark, competitive on an international level.

The most striking emblem of Myer’s new face to the city is its faceted golden roof which has been architecturally sculpted with gold metal and glass to choreograph certain city views from within. The new upper level event space is the culmination of the store’s new retail experience and is accessed via a dramatic eight level atrium. From the ground floor, the inclined and tapering atrium leads to a large diamond skylight bringing daylight into the depths of the store. Meanwhile a busy flow of customers on the vertically stacked escalators play their part in the kinetic connection.

The project offered the opportunity to carefully restore the significant heritage features of the original store, including the 1920’s Art Deco southern façade and the famous Mural Hall. The Little Bourke Street façade has been completely rebuilt as a contemporary counterpoint to its 1920’s Bourke Street companion. The distinctive harlequin pattern across the façade is a geometric interpretation of the Art Deco motifs found throughout the old store. The redevelopment of Myer ensures it will continue to be a contributor to the life and times of Melbourne.

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