Multi Award Winning NorthWest Shopping Centre

June 1, 2016


Described as the “next generation” of shopping centres and spanning 35,035m2 or the equivalent of four football fields, NorthWest Shopping Centre’s NZ$155 million transformation features nearly 100 retail stores, a contemporary food court seating around 500 people as well as carefully landscaped public spaces.  It is home to anchor tenants Farmers and Countdown, along with well-known brands, such as Glassons, Barkers, Max and Hannahs.

Having won the 2016-2017 Asia Pacific Property Award for Retail Development and Retail Architecture, New Zealand, and Gold in the NZ Commercial Property Awards, the Centre forms the heart of the new Westgate Town Centre, an integral part of the broader Westgate development.

The Buchan Group Principal David Thornton said NorthWest delivered key elements of the client brief while providing a unique customer experience enhanced by its dynamic design and use of high quality details and surface finishes in a retail environment.

“The centre’s interior design reflects a strong sense of place, embracing the rich tones of the black sand beaches of the nearby rugged West Coast, leafy surrounding vineyards and variety of colourful fruit farms and market gardens surrounding.

“For example, tiling layouts reflect the shapes and colours of sand washed up on the wild beaches, and a timber feature ceiling mimics the light tones and repetitive nature of a wine barrel.  Even the perforated metal screens in the food court create a dappled light effect similar to that seen under the shady pergolas of a winery.

“Northwest integrates various common area spaces, public amenities and respite areas with honest and timeless materials familiar to the locale, such as concrete, steel and timber, in an innovative and modern interpretation offering a crisp and engaging environment,” he said.

“Drawing on The Buchan Group’s international retail design experience, we were able to introduce recent international design trends to New Zealand, including future proofing NorthWest with the ability to accommodate to future retail demand. Also, catering for the customer, this centre has the largest caregiver’s room in New Zealand which is an important amenity for customers in the region.

“Sustainability was encouraged and provided for in the design, including careful placement, sizing and orientation of windows to control solar gain – including clerestory windows flooding natural light along the length of the mall – long-life LED lighting with sensors, high efficiency heat pumps for cooling, and high efficiency closed loops cooling towers.

“Outside, dynamic building façades define street frontages and flank the main entry to the mall. The traditional ‘Main Street’ retail component is integrated with the internal retail model, complementing one another to provide a new, exciting, cohesive shopping experience.”

Five Mile Development at Queenstown Gateway

May 31, 2016

The first stage of the NZ$130 million Five Mile Retail Centre development at the gateway to Queenstown has begun welcoming residents and visitors alike, converting the site from an abandoned eyesore into an enticing state-of-the-art shopping precinct.

Encompassing 14,000m², the four contemporary retail buildings are now home to leading retailers including Countdown, Briscoes Homeware, Rebel Sport, Warehouse Stationery, Number One Shoes, Supercheap Auto, ANZ Bank and Dick Smith Electronics.

The complex will also eventually accommodate 800 carparks (including 250 underground) food operators, offices, serviced apartments and a child care centre.

The Buchan Group was appointed by Queenstown Gateway Ltd in 2010 to complete Master Planning, Concept and Design Development works for the project. 

The site, located beside Queenstown Airport, had been home to a 2.4ha hole created from a construction project that was abandoned when the previous developer was placed into receivership in 2008.

The Buchan Group Principal David Thornton said the first stage of the Five Mile Retail Centre had finally created an inviting gateway to Queenstown from the eastern approach through to Frankton that locals could be proud of.

“Our vision was to design a development befitting the region that reflected the unique characteristics of the stunning surrounding vistas,” he said.
“This meant not only designing a modern retail centre that was appealing to locals and visitors, but also one that was suitably striking for one of the best locations in the Frankton and Shotover region.

“The form, texture and colour of the buildings directly reflects the contrasting and rugged alpine landscape in the region – the jagged profile of the Remarkables against the skyline and the varying colours and shadows that they evoke throughout the day and the seasons.  As a result, the rooflines are angled and steeped, creating a sharp silhouette against the sky, the horizon, and shadows on adjacent buildings and on the ground.

“The buildings also frame view shafts to Double Cone, Peninsula Hill, Cecil peak and Walter Peak, ensuring the development highlights these natural assets.

AIA Regional Commendation for Hear and Say

May 30, 2016

Congratulations to The Buchan Group’s design team for their win at Friday night’s Australian Regional Australian Institute of Architects’ 2016 Brisbane Regional Architecture Awards, where Hear and Say Project Possibility picked a well-deserved Regional Commendation.

As the judges commented: “A much-needed institution with a strong humanitarian calling and vision has found a home in a well-considered adaptive reuse of obsolete educational buildings. The cooperation and mission of architect and client have created a sophisticated facility which competently incorporates social, architectural, experiential, functional and technical aspects.”

The project will now progress to the coveted State Architecture Awards, to be announced on 24 June.

Luncheon marks business alliance

May 20, 2016

The Buchan Group, in association with the Australia Japan Society of Victoria, recently hosted a luncheon to mark the formation of an alliance between Buchan and Nikken Sekkei.

The luncheon brought together senior representatives of Japanese and Victorian organisations in Melbourne to meet the alliance founders for an in depth discussion about benefits of the partnership and outlook of Global, Asian and Australian markets.

Esteemed guests included Tadao Kamei, President and CEO of Nikken Sekkei; Takeshi Tanabe, Deputy Consul-General of Japan; and Murray McLean AO, Co-Chairman of Australia Japan Society Victoria and former Australian Ambassador to Japan.

Buchan CEO David Martin said the occasion presented a fantastic opportunity to engage with key executives in a conversation about the benefits that can flow from creative collaboration between Australian and Japanese companies.

“It was an honour to host the event and come together with our valued guests to discuss growth prospects arising from our alliance which is founded on a strategic and geographic fit.  Together, we offer an extensive global reach and a depth of experience across multiple market sectors which will apply global insights for local solutions, resulting in designs that are both creative and feasible,” said David.

Mr Kamei said the business partnership will grow both businesses and offer world class design to clients.

“Nikken Sekkei couldn’t find a better alliance partner than Buchan.  With cultures and vision aligned, and a business history of 115 and 125 years for Nikken Sekkei and Buchan respectively, we look forward to a long and fruitful future together.”

Emporium Melbourne shortlisted for AIA Award

May 12, 2016

Emporium Melbourne was recently shortlisted for the Victorian Architecture Awards 2016 in the Commercial Architecture category.

The Victorian chapter of the annual Australian Institute of Architecture Awards program offers an opportunity for public and peer recognition of the innovative work of Victorian architects. The program also provides the Institute with a valuable mechanism to promote architects and architecture within Victoria, across Australia and internationally.

Emporium Melbourne forms the final link in the pedestrian chain of Australia’s most powerful CBD retail precinct, linking Myer, David Jones, Melbourne Central, The Strand Arcade and Melbourne’s GPO. The Centre’s design has resulted in a world class, interconnected, vertical retail environment reflecting the character and shopping experience of Melbourne’s iconic network of laneways.

Buchan Associate, Ashley Sheppard, said it was an honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award. 

“We are delighted that Emporium has been shortlisted in recognition of our innovation in design and delivery. It was a great pleasure working with the project team to deliver such an ambitious and striking development,” said Ashley.

“Emporium presented the opportunity to merge the historic charm of the site with modern retail principles and deliver an iconic, experiential retail and leisure centre to the Melbourne CBD. We are incredibly proud of the end result.”

Winners will be announced at the 2016 Awards Presentation Dinner to be held at Peninsula Docklands on Friday 24 June, 2016.

Family Friendly Community Marketplace for Halls Head

May 10, 2016

The $55 million redevelopment of Halls Head Central was recently completed, transforming the centre into a vibrant retail and leisure focal point for the local community.  The revamp introduces one of Western Australia’s first Aldi stores, Coles, Kmart, a mini major, approximately 58 speciality stores and a new casual dining precinct with a dedicated alfresco area and children’s playground.
Buchan’s design for the new centre employs a contemporary coastal aesthetic in homage to the surrounding coastline.  A relaxed resort feel is imbued through the use of materials such as natural timbers which are designed to weather.
Modern and convenient, the centre’s new design creates a family friendly community marketplace where locals can meet to shop, dine and be entertained.

Buchan projects shine at New Zealand Commercial Project Awards

May 9, 2016

From L to R: Charlotte Cochrane, James Burgess, David Thornton, Eric Buhrs, Bojana Hynes, Daniel Eiem; David Thornton, Rob Guild (Buchan) and Simon Barber (RMBA)

The National New Zealand Commercial Project Awards 2016 were celebrated on Friday night, with a gala event held at SkyCity, Auckland.

We are extraordinarily proud of how well our projects fared, and would like to warmly congratulate our clients and the project teams on the well-deserved success.

The awarded projects include:

Gold Award - NorthWest Shopping Centre, Auckland (Retail)

Silver Award - 144 Kilmore Street, Christchurch (Commercial and Civic)

Silver Award - The Hub, Hornby (Retail)

Silver Award - 819 Colombo Street, Christchurch (Commercial and Civic)

Bronze Award - Auckland Airport Shopping Centre Re-life (Heritage/Restoration)



May 2016 // Download PDF // 403KB

Grand CentralBrickworks | Northwest | The Landing | Five Mile Gateway | Imperial Doncaster | Mt Beautiful | Skycity | WA100 2016 | Nikken Sekkei | Mixed-Use Symposium

New Galleria Unveiled at Eastland

May 5, 2016

The evolution of Eastland Shopping Centre continues with the unveiling of a new galleria on the East Side. Set over two levels, the precinct comprises 80 new brands and ‘The Arcade,’ a boutique space featuring an unrivalled mix of pop up concepts from International brands to local Melbourne labels.  A new art work series by David Bromley and a maze of interactive installations and artworks provides the perfect cultural backdrop.

The galleria delivers the next stage in what is fast becoming one of Melbourne’s most progressive and exciting urban shopping, entertainment and leisure destinations.

“Eastland is developing into a world-class entertainment and leisure focal point for Victorians,” said Project Principal, Grant Withers.

“The new galleria adds to the already diverse offer at the Centre and we are delighted to have been involved in this exciting new precinct.”

Buchan hosts 2016 Mixed-Use Symposium

May 2, 2016

From L to R: Ian Thomas, Thomas Consultants; Richard Brice, EY; David Martin, Buchan CEO; Kiyoyoshi Okumori, Nikken Sekkei; David Forbes, Buchan.

The Buchan Group recently hosted the 2016 Mixed-Use Symposium, aimed at bringing together key industry colleagues to explore current and emerging trends in global mixed-use developments.

As a follow on to Buchan’s 2015 Retail Symposium, the event focussed on elements of successful Mixed-Use Developments from global best case practice.  A panel of leading industry specialists explored opportunities to enhance current assets and to unlock new development sites with transportation nodes, retail, residential, hospitality, hotels and commercial offices.  A key focus was transit oriented developments and lessons learnt from benchmark projects across Europe, Canada, the United States, and Japan.

Buchan CEO, David Martin, said the event aimed to prompt discussion on how this unique sector can grow and lead the world.

“As we have seen first-hand through our own portfolio of mixed-use developments, the landscape is constantly expanding and evolving.  Our diverse line up of speakers brought valuable analysis and insight into new avenues for increasing urbanisation in major cities and creating inclusive, connected communities through transit-oriented developments,” said David.

The expert panel was made up of Ian Thomas, the Chairman of Canadian based Thomas Consultants; Kiyoyoshi Okumori, Executive Officer of Nikken Sekkei in Japan; Richard Brice, Director of EY and David Forbes, Principal at The Buchan Group.  Collectively they discussed mixed-use developments and precincts in Victoria, best case practices around the world, and integration of these projects with transit oriented developments.

“The symposium highlights just how much mixed-use development is shaping the future of urban design,” said David.

“We look forward to continuing the conversation this unique sector provokes.”

Click HERE to view highlights and expert panel presentations. 

Lakelands Town Centre

May 1, 2016

Due for completion in June 2017, Lakelands Town Centre is set to become a new social hub for local residents, providing a vibrant mix of retail and lifestyle amenities.
The pedestrian orientated active main street development, by PEET and ISPT, will service the retail, social and recreational needs of the wider residential catchment through the introduction of a new retail centre and Town Square.
Construction recently commenced on Stage 1 of the retail centre which will comprise three anchors, speciality shops, a gym, tavern, liquor store, fast food outlets, service station, town square and car parking.
As part of Buchan’s ‘super graphic’ approach to the design of the retail centre, the north and south western edge is proposed to incorporate a striking 22.5m urban landmark inclusive of inbuilt retail signage, offering a pause point in the journey for passing traffic.
A double height eastern entry fronting the Town Square and Main Street will be the focal point for food and activity, and a contiguous building frontage with a combination of cantilevered awnings and colonnades will create visual interest and differentiates spaces.
A key component of the Town Centre is the centrally and strategically located Town Square which will form the ‘heart’ of the centre, becoming the focus of community activities and providing a space for people to meet, socialise and be entertained. A flexible design has been employed in The Town Square to accommodate a range of pedestrian orientated activities. It is envisaged that Main Street will be closed to vehicles at various times to enable the square to be expanded for additional activities such as markets, stalls, parades and festivals.