Buchan’s new generation retail and lifestyle centre opens in China

September 30, 2015

Wuhan 1818 Mall opened in Wuhan, China in late 2015, delivering a new generation retail and lifestyle centre that is set to energize the precinct’s urban core.

The 70,000m2 7-level mall, by CapitaMalls Asia, caters to the needs of the 2.4 million people living and working in the District. It provides a diverse range of quality lifestyle, food and entertainment tenancies, anchored by rooftop cinemas and a basement supermarket and car parking.

The project opened at a dynamic point in space and time for Wuhan, coinciding with a period of unprecedented change.  Buchan’s design for the Centre fits well with the contemporary facelift of the District as Wuhan rapidly evolves into a Future City.

The design for the development was inspired by the unique cultural catchment and captures the essence of its past, whilst responding to evolving retail trends of the future.  Buchan felt both a responsibility to be respectful of Wuhan’s history and culture in our design, but to look to its future.  We felt a need to embrace the needs and aspirations of the new modern urban community.

The Interior Design concept for the mall expresses aspects of this dynamic through restrained organic patterns crowned by splashes of vibrant colour and dappled light effects. The prominent podium façade creates an impressive street-edge to the integrated office and residential mixed use precinct, and adds an impressive addition to the quality development portfolio of The Buchan Group and CapitaMalls Asia.

Buchan forms alliance with Nikken Sekkei

September 24, 2015

One of Australia’s largest and most successful architectural practices, The Buchan Group, has entered a business alliance with leading Japanese architectural and urban design firm, Nikken Sekkei.

Buchan CEO David Martin announced the alliance in Melbourne today, saying that it would provide the structure by which both businesses would further expand their global operations, particularly in the Australasian, European and Middle East regions.

“We were looking for a partner that would strengthen our global growth, and who would bring experience, specialist skills, values and culture that would be complementary to our business.  Nikken Sekkei, like Buchan, has over 100 years of history, and brings its own experience, depth of capability and a very prestigious track record to the partnership.”

Nikken Sekkei has more than 1,700 employees, works in 40 countries and has a strong track record in ‘green architecture’ design solutions and urban design, ‘super tall’ buildings, mixed use, education, commercial offices, hospitality, cultural, sports and health.  

President and CEO of Nikken Sekkei, Tadao Kamei, said that his practice was drawn to Buchan initially because of its successful track record in retail architecture. 

“Under the alliance with Buchan, we see opportunities to improve our capabilities in urban mixed use development, including retail, hotel and residential, not only in Japan but also in developing countries where such opportunities are expected to increase,” Mr Kamei said.

Mr Martin said that the combined strength, capabilities and global reach of the Buchan and Nikken Sekkei alliance would enable clients to access specialist designers, a broader service offering and unrivalled value. 

“Importantly, it will enhance the market leading position of both firms whilst maintaining the high quality, professional standards that our clients expect,” he said.

“Both Nikken Sekkei and Buchan are working in a global market that is increasingly competitive. Our business partnership will enable us to use each other’s strengths and to maximise new business opportunities.  We will be able to expand our services in our home countries of Australia and Japan and pool our project experience to grow internationally by providing designs that are both creative and feasible.”

AIA Qld Awards

September 16, 2015

AIA Qld Awards

The Buchan Group's Brisbane Studio is proud to have served as Creative Director for this year's AIA Qld Awards.

The event design and set production entailed the creation of an entry space, a grand gallery to showcase the year's exceptional work, and awards banquet area.

Our mix of design disciplines collaborated across achitecture, interiors, experiential, print and motion graphic design to deliver a dramatic, memorably branded solution.

Sincere thanks to GreyLight for their help with the event lighting, and to the Instutute for affording us such a wonderful opportunity.

Everton Park

September 16, 2015

Everton Park

The Buchan-designed Everton Park Retail and Home Improvament Centre has been awarded winner of the Excellence in Design Award, Sub-regional Centres at this year's Queensland Retail Property of the Years Awards. Congratulations to our client, Fabcot, and all of the evening's finalists and winners for the excellent standard of entries.

Dandenong Plaza

September 16, 2015

The redevelopment of Dandenong Plaza has breathed new life into the Centre, simultaneously enhancing its retail offer whilst repositioning the Centre’s Interior Design to reflect the diversity of the Dandenong Community. The result is an authentic, inviting and relevant place for locals to shop, socialise and be entertained.

GPT’s redevelopment of the Centre has seen the former 15000m2 anchor tenancy broken down into a mix of smaller tenancies chosen to revitalise the mall space and generate more visitations to the Centre.  Mini majors ALDI, Trade Secrets, Daiso and JB Hi Fi, together with a number of smaller speciality tenancies such as African supermarket and Degani’s café, now occupy the space that was for many years home to a Myer department store. 

With over 100 nationalities identified on the Plaza’s doorstep, the former typically 1980’s mall presentation has been recast to reflect the iconography, colour, texture, materiality and craftsmanship of the multicultural heritage of the area.

The Buchan Group Principal, Craig McLeod, said the driving concept behind the design was to encapsulate, interpret and reflect the diversity of the Dandenong Community.

“The interior design response celebrates the cosmopolitan heritage of Dandenong through a modern ethnic interpretative aesthetic that was achieved through the use of economical but carefully considered materiality and fenestration.”

Features include slatted timbers and geometric tessellated tiling that evoke form and motif, and mesh curtaining which is an interpretation of veil and drape.

The existing waffle slabs were deliberately exposed and painted out to invoke a rawness / authenticity reminiscent of ‘re-claimed’ urban spaces, and locally designed and manufactured furniture and light fittings were carefully selected to reflect ethnic craftsmanship.

The Buchan Group also extended the concept to bespoke items such as the public space floor rugs, which were designed ‘in-house’ especially for the project.

The completed fit-out has been extremely well received by the community and a staged roll out of the scheme across the entire Centre is currently under consideration by the Client.

Lalaport Fujimi

September 16, 2015

Lalaport Fujimi
The Mitsui Shopping Park LaLaport Fujimi is The Buchan Group’s fourth project for Mitsui Fudosan.

The Centre is the first to express the new LaLaport target concept of “a place where people interact.” 

Principal, Harvey Male, described the project as “integrated with its local community beyond its building and onsite services.”

In addition to three levels of retail with 293 stores in a circuit plan, the project is set in 8700m² of parkland to enable people and culture to intersect.  The open air square comprises a running course, dog run and bbq facilities, and the sense of wellness and unity with nature is merged into the Centre with interior spaces that offer park-like resting areas. 

The landscaping extends to part of the roof and façade and a three-tiered cutaway food court is designed as a rich green space reflective of the surrounding parklands. 

A full complement of entertainment services are included in the development, which responds to the diverse lifestyles of the catchment.


September 14, 2015

The Buchan Group affirms its ongoing commitment to the development of its future talent and increasing diversity of its leadership in announcing the promotion of Senior Designers, Hang Xu, David Fantini and Abhijit Parasnis to its Associate group.

The Buchan Group’s CEO, David Martin, congratulated the studio members on their appointments.

“I’m delighted to recognise our new Associates’ talent and ongoing professional commitment.   They are part of our next generation of leaders and have displayed exceptional commitment to our valued clients, colleagues and the studio.”


Hang Xu

Hang has been involved in Architectural Design, Design Development, Documentation, Contract Administration and Document Control on a wide range of projects including residential developments, mixed use schemes, commercial, cultural and industrial projects.  She has over 20 years’ of experience in Australia, New Zealand, China and South East Asia.

Some of the remarkable projects Hang has worked on since joining The Buchan Group in 2006 include Westfield London; The Mews Brighton, Melbourne, the epitome of luxury apartment living;  and the mixed use tower comprising a Sheraton Hotel and luxury apartments at 27 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

Hang enjoys merging cultural influences into her work and using her international perspective to add value to each project she undertakes.


David Fantini

David has worked on a diverse range of projects in Australia and internationally, particularly in the high-rise residential sector. He has gained experience working alongside a broad range of professionals including architectural colleagues, government approval bodies, designers and consultants.

David has been instrumental in the design of numerous residential and mixed-use projects including Vogue South Yarra, The Mews Brighton and many others currently on the drawing board.

David enjoys the challenge of bringing together various disciplines under constraints of time and boundaries to create one cohesive functional unit that remains true to its design and intention.


Abhijit Parasnis

Abhijit has been with The Buchan Group for 11 years and has over 17 years’ experience designing and delivering world class retail, hospitality and mixed use projects.

Abhijit specialises in large scale retail projects and currently plays a leading role in the expansion of Australia’s largest shopping centre, Chadstone.  Abhijit has expertise in retail master planning with a focus on sustainability, and has guided a number of redevelopment and refurbishment projects through complex design, planning & heritage processes. Working closely with clients, Abhijit immensely enjoys the process of managing stakeholders and various interest groups to conceive designs that are innovative, sustainable and commercially successful.

The Buchan Group Presents…

September 4, 2015

The Buchan Group design leaders are sharing their experience and expertise across numerous sectors at a number of conferences over the coming weeks.  Key events include:


Principal, Harvey Male, will present at the Trueventus Apartment Conference held from 9-10 September at the Crown Promenade in Melbourne.

Entitled ‘Integrated design to achieve synergy of apartment living in a mixed use environment,‘ Harvey’s presentation will explore lifestyle in a mixed use environment and bringing apartment living to life.  He will consider unlocking and balancing the components of multiple uses; place activation to create lively and attractive public spaces; and designing a mixed use project to cater to higher density.

More on Apartments Conference


The Buchan Group’s London team will attend The British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) Conference 2015 in Manchester, U.K, on 16-17 September.

The showcase event brings together some of the industry’s leading retailers, property owners/investors, developers, agents and professional consultants to discuss current and emerging sector trends and establish new partnerships.

The Buchan Group will be represented this year by Principal, Simon Gregory and Associate, John Watson.  They can be contacted on the details below:

Simon Gregory
Mobile +44 (0) 7786 436 742 or
Email simon.gregory@buchangroup.co.uk

John Watson
Mobile +44 (0) 7765 206 267 or
Email john.watson@buchangroup.co.uk

More on BCSC Conference


Principal, David Macleod, will present at the Property Council of Australia’s The Changing Face of Retail conference on the 23rd September at The Hilton South Wharf in Melbourne.

As a specialist in the design of large-scale retail developments, David will join a panel of retail experts to share their views on the current and future landscape of shopping centres; the impact of online retail on retailers and shopping centres; how landlords are growing the value of their retail assets; and how retailers innovate the service experience.

More on The Changing Face of Retail Conference

Cloisters On Hay cleans up at WA Awards!

September 2, 2015

The $70M Cloisters on Hay redevelopment, for Perth Diocesan Trustees, was recently honoured in acknowledgement of the outstanding revitalisation and innovative design achieved for the new and existing buildings completed on the site.

The project was named WA’s Best Project for 2015 at the annual Master Builders Association of Western Australia (MBAWA) Excellence in Construction Awards and also took out the awards for Best Office Building and Best Steel Building.

At the recent 2015 WA Architecture Awards, announced by the Australian Institute of Architects, the project also received a Commendation for the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture.

The redevelopment of this significant property in the heart of Perth’s CBD comprised the transformation of the existing two level office and retail building into a 10-storey retail and office tower, over a functioning carpark.

The Buchan Group’s principal design philosophy in transforming this unique heritage landmark was to create a vital and energising public domain.  The new office consists of a simple stepped rectangular office volume that maximises net lettable areas, flexibility and daylight access for office floors.

The design of the new retail centre incorporated frameless glass shopfronts to a realigned arcade, providing a direct vista from Hay Street to St Georges Terrace, dramatically improving ease of circulation and legibility.  The Cloisters retail centre was fully leased at the time of opening in mid 2014.

The AIA jury was impressed with the innovative use of steel in the project, citing that its use as a structural system “generated 25% more floor area, contributing to a very cost-effective urban renewal project.”

Congratulations to the dedicated design team for conceiving an integrated dynamic development which contributes positively to the public and private realm.



September 2015 // Download PDF // 522KB

Lalaport Fujimi | Toowong Village | Dandenong Plaza | Wellard Square | Cloisters | Everton Park | 2015 AIA Qld Awards | Barrie Stevens 27 Little Collins Street

Wellard Square picks up John Septimus Roe Award for Urban Design

September 1, 2015

Wellard Square was recently announced as the Winner of the 2015 John Septimus Roe Award for Urban Design at the Australian Institute of Architects’ WA Awards.

The new main street retail development comprises a market style 3200m2 Woolworths and 23 specialty retail tenancies. The development has pioneered a new concept of small scale retail delivering a high quality neighbourhood centre.

The Buchan Group Associate Director, Anna Meszaros, said “the ethos was about creating an environment with a ‘fine urban grain’ constituted by a network of intimate and detailed streetscapes which blend and blur the boundaries between the public and private realms.”

The jury was impressed with the remarkable attention to detail and materiality creating sensory pleasure.  They cited that “the architects have been diligent in forming and detailing the building’s stimulating streetscape experience to a pedestrian human scale.”

The jury was also pleased with the use of durable and cost effective materials throughout the project, stating that their innovative and purposeful use “has created a sense of visual interest, generosity and richness that is not typical of middle-suburban retail developments.”

Congratulations to the team on a truly outstanding project!