Wintergarden, Brisbane, Australia

by Sarah 14 December 2012
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    Buchan helps Wintergarden thrive, The landmark Wintergarden retail centre in Brisbane’s celebrated Queen Street Mall has recently undergone a major redesign. Dating back to the 1980s, the centre needed far more than refurbishment; the two-stage process incorporated the original structure with major changes to planning, levels and circulation, enhancing public wellbeing and achieving a 5-Star Green Star sustainability rating.

    The project is a synthesis of place-making, commerce, function, aesthetics and aspirations, creating an environment that is a meeting place as much as a premium retail venue. From the unique, multi-layered façade to the central skylight, the new centre makes a strong statement of identity, contributing to the fabric and permeability of the city.

    ISPT’s brief called for a fun, edgy aesthetic with distinct precincts such as ‘European’, ‘Australian’ and ‘youth’. The Buchan Group's design introduces parallel malls that visually and functionally connect Queen and Elizabeth Streets, with secondary malls positioned to capture various fashion mixes.

    The feature void cuts through the building, exposing the retail levels and offering high legibility within the centre and to the street. Gently graded walkways create seamless transitions at all entries. Abundant natural light flows into the centre, showcasing the 700 seat food court at the heart of the lower level and highlighting the glazed bridges and natural surfaces. High-quality materials and dashes of striking colour add a sense of playfulness, complementing the iconic fashion retailers that now fill the centre.

    The interior aesthetic plays on ‘winter’ and ‘garden’, creating an inner city oasis with the use of cool, fresh tones, and edgy forms. The environment evokes vigour, rejuvenation and tranquillity. The clean, minimal palette is offset by vibrant yellow, judiciously placed on key design elements such as escalator balustrades, food court joinery and a bold dash of colour to glass ledges in the amenities. The high quality materials and finishes used are consistent with requirements for operation and maintenance and environmental sustainability. Unifying the design is an original fractal pattern, created for Wintergarden and present in elements at all scales, from the natural stone floors, ceiling features, to bespoke food court joinery, furniture, surfaces and finishes. The pattern was derived from the golden ratio recurrent in nature—while varied in appearance, it has order and repetition, echoing underlying structure and natural elegance.

    Wintergarden is once again the CBD’s lifestyle hub, where leading brands and a range of experiences inspire people to live and shop with creativity and individuality.


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