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A triumph of retail design at East Village

A triumph of retail design at East Village


Photography Tom Ferguson

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“With the hero the tree structure, the Payce project successfully challenges the retail marketplace experience with a strong commitment to social and environmental sustainability. We see where the interior design conceptual drivers have informed a diverse, authentic place – a welcome change from the lifeless box of the modern day mall. While the project is embedded underground, the clever use of filtered natural light and small vistas forms a connectivity to the whole site and a mixed-use philosophy. The collaborative team has delivered a project that delineates the borders between garden and interior, architecture and village.” — Sue Fenton, 2015 IDEA jury.

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To build upon retail sitting underneath an expansive 6500-square metre Sky Park, a ‘forests’ theme was incorporated to open up the retail space to nature and introduce raw elements that would challenge shopper perceptions and inspire a new retail experience, removed from the internalised and artificial environments of current shopping centres.

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The aim was to create an urban marketplace that showcases a unique aspect of the mixed-use residential design. Building on the concept of hybrid mixed-use residential living in a park, the design draws upon the natural landscape of the park inside the built form, and allows for continuity and balance between the external and interior environment.

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Raw colour, texture and honest materiality bring the ‘forests’ theme to life. The use of organic raw timber materials with rustic steel delivers a surprising yet inviting warehouse ambience and a desired urban feel. As a manifestation of the ‘forests’ theme, a canopy of treetops invites consumers to look up and feel encompassed within a forest environment, while wide thoroughfares and open plan spaces promote a sense of community gathering reminiscent of a market square. Mirrored surfaces invite nature into the interior with refl ections of the Sky Garden. Skylights, including a large golden faceted feature, are used to filter natural light into the interior.

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