Award Winning Robina Town Centre & Kitchens

February 20, 2018

The newest phase of Robina Town Centre’s reinvention is the redevelopment of the Market Hall and connecting areas, seeking to create an even more outward-looking, open and urban town centre for one of Australia’s first and largest planned communities.

Already an award-winning project (2017 Retail Property of the Year by Property Council of Australia, Queensland), the centre has undergone extensive refurbishment since 2008, and is now positioned as the leading retail entertainment destination on the Gold Coast.

Commencing with the Coles Relocation stage, the Retail Master Plan created the opportunity for a major food precinct in the space between the new Coles gallery mall, existing Woolworths and the Central Malls developments.
The stages are unified by a grand, undulating timber roof, concept designed by UK firm ACME.

Now called “The Kitchens” the new, two-storey market hall was imagined as “a mix of food court, hall and factory”. Concept designed by Landini Associates, it consists of a diverse collection of 65 new traders, including butchers, fishmongers, restaurants, bars, cafes, teaching kitchens and a microbrewery, all of which are dedicated to celebrating local/regional produce, supplying the very best local products available. The precinct also collected the “Excellence in Food Retailing—Over Six Tenancies” Award in the 2017 PCA Qld Retail Awards.

The project spills out onto a flowing, stepped landscaped area accessible from a new car park, providing a water feature and lush planting. The new car park façade is composed of laser-cut and folded metal panels, revealing swathes of colours and creating vivid variations in transparency and opacity as one moves along it.

Buchan Group Principal, Peter Zillman said the project, due for completion in early 2018, complemented Robina Town Centre’s strategy to be a leader in its field. “Robina Town Centre and Queensland Investment Corporation continue to develop the centre to ensure it remains current with the latest trends both nationally and abroad,” he said. “As a result, Robina continues to be recognised by the retail industry as a leader in the retail space and is consistently an award-winning centre.”

Buchan is currently completing the Central Malls development for QIC GRE, the last piece in this phase of Robina Town Centre’s Master Plan, bringing the centre to over 140,000m² and 400 tenants in an unmatched environment of retail, food and entertainment experiences.

Live, work and worship: Eporo Tower takes a unique spin on mixed-use design

February 16, 2018

The iconic glass façade of Eporo Tower vies for the spotlight amongst its many counterparts on the Melbourne CBD skyline.  But up close, it’s more than just your typical high rise. 

Ushering in a new era in mixed-use design trends, the glazed 43-level tower uniquely blends spiritual, residential and commercial. The landmark building for the Coptic Church comprises 307 residential apartments above a 12-storey “jewel box” podium which houses three levels of modern worship spaces, function rooms and administration offices, ground level retail and cafes and seven levels of residential car parking. 

“Eporo Tower is a great example of how traditional mixed-use architecture is evolving,” said Project Architect Hugh Song. 

“The typical residential/retail model is giving way to a more diverse mix of uses, and the church /residential mix is uniquely complementary. Residents get a sense of security living above a church, the church gains an instant community atmosphere, and both benefit from having prime CBD offerings on their doorstep.” 

The Buchan Group’s design for the tower reflects the ancient church’s desire to move with the times whilst retaining the Coptic theology. Modernism and tradition are moulded into one with a combination of contemporary architecture and classic detailing.  Features include six five metre high stained glass windows on the podium and a Coptic Cross geometric pattern adorning the glass cladding of the tower. 

“Architecturally, Eporo’s mix creates something really special, blending the structured lines of a skyscraper with the craftsmanship of the church and creating a stunning and iconic landmark for Melbourne,” said Hugh. 

Atop the worship spaces, the residential floors create a striking distinction with the glass clad curving facade and contemporary interiors designed for city living. If residents aren’t relaxing in their living rooms enjoying CBD views through the floor-to-ceiling glass panels, they might be found entertaining friends in the exclusive Residents’ Lounge on Level 11.  Designed with bold lines and timeless contrasting tones and textures, the lounge offers a relaxed environment to whip up dinner in the kitchen and dining area, kick back and watch a movie in the cinema space, or step out to the terrace to enjoy a few steaks on the barbeque and soak up those city vistas. 

Completed in late 2017, Eporo Tower has offered up the city’s first ‘churchscraper,’ and just a taste of what the future of mixed-use has in store.

Melbourne Hotel, Perth, WA

February 14, 2018

Set to re-open in March, the Melbourne Hotel is a striking mid-rise boutique hotel development expanding the capacity of this significant late 19th Century Heritage ‘Gold Rush’ Hotel. 

The refurbished Perth hotel comprises 22 refurbished Heritage rooms and 51 new rooms which share a circulation space woven through and around the heritage building.

A three-level glazed conservatory space forms delineation between the original 1897 fabric and the new boutique hotel rooms. Within, the materiality expressed contrast the rustic and textural rear of the 1897 building with a contemporary internal facade.

An extended range of food and beverage facilities has been incorporated, along with an expanded function and business facility, and new Rooftop Bar.

Two scales predominate, low rise frontages to the streetscapes of Hay and Milligan Street, and new 6 level ‘bookend’ extensions to both Heritage facades. These bookends are visually separated from the adjacent heritage building with a vertical glazed setback slot, allowing views out and expressing the extent of the original 1897 building.

Given the complexities of the development, such as a heritage listed hotel, melding old with the new and a very tight construction site, The Buchan Group have been pragmatic and flexible with their design and construction methodology, always with the aim of achieving the best outcome for the client without compromising on the overall innovative design intent.

The newly refurbished boutique hotel offers patrons a unique experience in the Perth CBD, which both engages with the history of the locality and creates a new energy from the contemporary facilities and spaces.

Narellan Town Centre Opened

December 19, 2017

The $200M expansion of Narellan Town Centre in Sydney’s south-west, opened earlier this year by NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The expansion doubled the centre’s floor space from 35,000m² to more than 70,000m² and incorporated a sky bridge over Camden Valley Way, which joined the existing southern shopping precinct to the new northern sector. The completed additions make Narellan Town Centre the largest privately owned shopping centre in Australia. 

Buchan was appointed by Dartwest Developments in 2009 to provide architectural and interior design services to the project, revising the centre’s original design concept to create a modern town centre.

Sydney Project Director Anthony Palamara said he was excited to see the project come to completion recently, with the building fast becoming Sydney south-west’s new retail, food and recreational hub.

“The town centre is set to revitalise the Narellan precinct by acting as a catalyst for further high-quality developments in the area,” Mr Palamara said.

“The project brief was developed in conjunction with council planners and the owners Dartwest Developments.

“The process involved the consideration of international and local benchmarking to create a major townscape adorned with hard and soft landscapes, flanked by restaurants and an active plaza space.

“Our design narrative was to create a heart for Narellan that emphasised true pedestrian connectivity to the proposed elevated shopping precinct.

“The town centre’s external sky bridge, two entrance lobbies and sweeping retail facade have been designed to create a gateway landmark that embraces the restaurant precinct and civic plaza.

“In terms of standout features, the adjoining fashion-oriented sky bridge is the pinnacle of the centre’s extraordinary design. It links the north and south retail precincts seamlessly and effortlessly for shoppers.”

Mr Palamara said the town square was embraced by a sweeping upper-level façade, which was set back from the busy roadway.

“It’s refreshing to see the pedestrian links being used as we anticipated, with people walking along the new town square’s edge flanked by restaurants, shops, landscaping and water features,” he said. 

Materials for the project were kept simple and colours neutral to allow longevity, while large zones of glass created permeability in areas of pedestrian focus.

Northern Territory Shopping Oasis

December 12, 2017

Darwin residents have given the $8m refurbishment of The Oasis Shopping Village in Palmerston the tick of approval, welcoming the inviting design and upgraded amenities of the refreshed retail space.

Buchan was appointed by The RR Morriss Group to provide architectural, interior, graphic and branding design services to the project, revising the centre’s design to deliver a modern neighbourhood centre.

The 8,450m2 centre has been refreshed into a contemporary shopping space with a variety of retailers including a 4,000m2 Next Generation market-style Coles Supermarket anchoring the centre, a 24/7gym, a health and medical centre, 35 specialty stores and two other office tenancies.

The recent refurbishment has improved the centre’s common areas, including the creation of a casual dining precinct flanking the new mall entry, and an upper level extension providing the centre with a much stronger street presence. 

Buchan Senior Associate Anthony Tai said the long-awaited upgrades to the retail centre reflected strong local demand for access to fresh, new family friendly amenities and services.
“Our brief was to re-purpose an existing part of the centre which was under-utilised, and to refresh the whole centre,” Mr Tai said.

“To bring a renewed energy to the centre, the ground floor has been reconfigured to create a new casual dining precinct, accommodating an expanded and exciting mix of existing and new food offerings. New mall and amenities finishes have also been applied, and a spacious and well-equipped parents’ room added to cater for the need of families visiting the centre.

“The refurbished upper level, which also houses a dynamic corporate hub, has been refitted to include a 24 hour gym open to both employees and the general public.

“These works have redefined and strengthened Oasis Shopping Village as a convenient shopping hub for the local residents.”

Buchan Leads Design of $30m Harbour Town Expansion

November 28, 2017

The Buchan Group has unveiled its $30M expansion of Gold Coast outlet shopping destination Harbour Town.

Responsible for the architectural design of all public spaces in the precinct’s north-west extension, which opened its doors to shoppers earlier this year, the Buchan design has boosted the shopping  centre’s retail space by more than 3,500m² to accommodate an additional 25 premium fashion and lifestyle brands, including Adidas, Converse, Kathmandu and Lindt Chocolate Shop.

Buchan Group Principal Brett Saville said the centre’s new expansion would enhance Harbour Town’s  retail offering and further cement the centre’s reputation as the home of major Australian and international brands.

“Buchan’s design expands the quality shopping experience at Harbour Town and capitalises on the centre’s existing reputation as a must-see destination for visitors on the Gold Coast,” he said. 

“The new buildings in the centre’s north-west precinct boast glass, timber, concrete and steel finishes to accentuate a contemporary feel and complement the existing retail buildings.

“Our team drew on its extensive retail experience to create a new precinct that is complimentary to the existing centre while creating tenancies that suit the current and future requirements of the tenants. The solution also advances the design of the centre’s public spaces”. 

“Buchan Group has also overseen the upgrade to the new Luxury Precinct in the middle of the centre, where a richer palette of materials and increased use of vegetation combine to create a distinctly different environment."

“The success of the new expansion reflects the growth of Harbour Town Gold Coast as a retail and lifestyle destination for both tourists and locals alike.”

Buchan Group were the architects for the original development and were appointed to this expansion project in 2014 by centre owners Lewis land & Lend Lease.

Associate & Tenancy Services Manager, James Bayer

November 27, 2017

The Buchan Group is delighted to announce the promotion of James Bayer to Associate following his appointment to lead the Brisbane studio’s Tenancy Design team.

With a career at Buchan spanning 11 years, James is a skilled specialist in coordinating and managing tenancy design projects and has been pivotal in developing the Brisbane tenancy design team.

He is currently leading the Queensland division of the Home Consortium rollout project, which includes the transformation of 40 former Masters Stores into large format retail centres. The overall portfolio comprises more than 500,000 square metres of space making it the biggest rollout of new shopping centres in Australia’s retail history.

James manages the specialist Tenancy Services Team, providing a full suite of tenancy design management and coordination services with successful results having been achieved on a wide range of retail projects. 

These have been for retail centers which The Buchan Group has designed as well as centers that have been delivered by others.

Belmont Forum Dining Precinct

November 27, 2017

A new Buchan designed dining precinct at Belmont Forum has been a resounding success since its recent opening earlier this year. 

Part of the Centre’s $80M staged redevelopment for Perron Group, the new food offering with alfresco seating faces Belmont Avenue.  Entries along the precinct have been upgraded, along with the mall and new skylights leading to the Aldi Supermarket. 

The final stage, comprising new Fresh Food mall and new Coles, is currently under construction and due for completion mid 2018, and will create a stronger pedestrian connection from the Wright street garden entrance and the Faulkner Civic community precinct across the street.  A large mural will form part of the Centre’s Public Art strategy. 

The vibrant redevelopment and improved amenity has injected new life into Belmont Avenue and surrounds. The Buchan Perth team was led by Project Director Andre Jones.

Lakelands Town Centre

November 26, 2017

Construction of Stage 1 is complete at the newly opened Lakelands Town Centre, by PEET and ISPT. 

The Main street development comprises three anchors, along with specialty shops, gym, Childcare, Library and a Town Square. A car wash is to open shortly, and a Swimming school is currently under construction, due to be complete for April 2018. A tavern is also planned.

A range of centre-based activities involves the local community, such as food evenings. The pedestrian-oriented main street is able to be closed to traffic for markets and festivals.

Since opening, the centre has proven a big success with the local community with its vibrant mix of retail and lifestyle amenities.

The project was led by Director, Andre Jones.

Lines of Life – Singapore Rail Corridor Masterplan Awarded

November 22, 2017

The Lines of Life Rail Corridor Masterplan has won the Analysis and Masterplanning category of the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ Asia-Pacific Landscape Awards 2017.

Partnering with Nikken Sekkei, Buchan delivered the Signage and Wayfinding components of the Masterplan to develop a strategy to establish seamless connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, helping to create an inviting space for exploration and discovery across Singapore.

Hailed as Singapore’s version of New York City’s High Line, the total decommissioned rail corridor site is 24 kilometres long and is about 100 hectares in area, stretching from north to south across Singapore. Once complete, people will be able to cycle or walk its entire length, or access parts of the path at their leisure.

With its yellow and black colour palette, the wayfinding signage references the rustic character of the former railway and its overall identity as a green corridor. Walkers, joggers and cyclists are able to engage with the wayfinding program and immediately identify what their location is, how many kilometres they’ve covered and distance to amenities and rest points.

There is also interpretive signage along the path with more detailed information about art installations, adjacent facilities and botanical descriptions. As well as being a diverse physical environment, the rail corridor has immense spatial reach and is a timeless legacy for Singapore given its ecologically sensitive environment.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Singapore held an international competition to transform the former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Railway Line into a publicly accessible space. More information can be found at:  https://www.ura.gov.sg/ms/railcorridor/

Buchan Boosts Retail Presence In China

November 21, 2017

Construction on Raffles City Changning in Shanghai is complete, unveiling the latest instalment of Buchan’s Retail presence in China.  

Raffles City Changning comprises two retail podiums, three office towers and five heritage buildings restored from the former St Mary’s School – the first girls’ school in Shanghai – and will be a lifestyle destination that combines both new buildings and the site’s existing heritage buildings.

The integrated development will feature a large shopping mall, gourmet supermarket, cinema, restaurants and entertainment experiences. 

The significant retail project is the second Raffles City development in Shanghai for CapitaLand, one of Asia’s largest real estate companies.

Working collaboratively with P&T Architects from Hong Kong, The Buchan Group was responsible for the planning and interior design of the retail podium. 

Buchan Director Phil Schoutrop said CapitaLand wanted to replicate the success of Buchan’s previous work in Shanghai and create a unique mixed-use destination that complements the established culture and history in this western area of Shanghai.

“The biggest challenge for this project was the existing site conditions,” Mr Schoutrop said. 

“We needed to work around a number of heritage buildings and also the Shanghai Metro for which there are two lines next to, and under, the site. 

“The design aims to give the mall a unique elegant style of its own while acknowledging the rich historical heritage of St Mary’s School, the materials and textures of the area, and the changing local urban landscape.

“The mall is divided into two zones by the existing heritage buildings on the site. The ‘Great Lawn’ that sits between the buildings is a large open green space that, combined with the school buildings, forms a unique meeting and gathering space for the residents and customers alike. 

“Each part of the mall then houses different uses and spaces for different customers. A mixture of fashion and lifestyle tenants with entertainment, and dining options, combines to create a strong sense of journey and place for the locals and visitors alike,” he said. 

The retail component will encompass 114,761m2, almost half of the development’s 260,933m2 total size.

Shaping the future: Buchan designs Victoria’s largest mixed-use precinct

November 20, 2017


A new era in mixed use design is dawning in Melbourne’s suburbs with M-City billed to become the largest master planned community in Victoria.

Designed by The Buchan Group, the $1B project for Saraceno Group and Schiavello will create a viable alternative to city living where people can live, work, stay and play, all within a 35,000m2 site.

The dynamic community hub, will cater to just about everyone with its three residential towers, 26,000m2 retail mall anchored by Kmart, Woolworths and a Village cinema complex, a commercial office tower, a 5 star hotel and community facilities including a day care centre and medical centre. Strategically located close to Australia’s largest university, Monash, the development will also serve the growing influx of international students.

Principal Harvey Male said the project presents a new style of suburban living, with the right balance of infrastructure, shopping and lifestyle options providing the complete package of convenience and community outside of the CBD.

“M-City promotes a sea change in the mixed-use sector. People don’t always want to move too far from the area where they grew up or travel long distances for work or activities, and M-City offers 24 hour living in the one location with everything they need at their door,” said Harvey.

“A typical day in the life of an M-City resident might look like this: a workout in the gym in the morning, dropping off the kids at the on-site childcare centre, walking to work in the nearby education and science precinct, and a quick catch up with friends at the hotel bar before picking up dinner from Woolworths on the way home.”

The project’s community focus is reflected in Buchan’s design through the seamless integration of the apartment units with the commercial, entertainment and retail spaces and wider residential neighbourhood. The connection is enhanced via a sequence of public spaces, with links and trails and open landscaped areas creating a village atmosphere.  People can come together in the rooftop garden and enjoy leisure amenities including a pool and spa, gym, tennis court and a cabana patio designed for entertaining and BBQs.

“The main focus of the design was appropriate connectivity,” said Harvey.

“Functional connectivity in terms of linking the spaces and ease of traffic flow, but also emotional connectivity by creating a sense of place and community.”

Concepts of rhythm are woven into the design to reflect the project’s vision of a pulsing urban mini metropolis. A mix of tones and textures transform the feel of spaces according to their different uses and contexts, emphasising the experiential nature of each precinct. The rush of the retail spaces contrast with the calm of communal outdoor areas which are softened with natural materials and greenery.

The rhythmic theme carries through to the apartment interiors, which strike a balance between classic and contemporary. The light filled apartments are styled with high quality fixtures and finishes including mirrored splashbacks, 2 pack and timber joinery, and the beauty of natural stone with veining that suggests its own individuality. 

“The first residential tower sold out within two weekends of launching and 80% of buyers were locals,” said Harvey.

“That gives you an indication of the demand for this type of lifestyle.”

M-City is expected to be completed in 2021.