Final stage of Pacific Werribee revamp unveiled

July 28, 2016

Pacific Werribee offered a glimpse into the final stages of its much anticipated revamp today, with the opening of iconic stores H&M and Uniqlo alongside an expanded Myer.

The full unveiling of the $370 million refresh will be officiated by Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas on 11th August, delivering a vibrant new one-stop fashion, food and entertainment destination for the local community.

The final stage in the redevelopment introduces a larger, full-line Myer department store and additional specialty stores to complement the existing Urban Diner alfresco dining precinct, Gold Class Village Cinemas, new Target and over 50 specialty stores.

Buchan has long been a part of Pacific Werribee’s growth, providing architecture and interior design and signage and wayfinding services for the refurbished malls and creating a new contemporary branded image for the Centre.  Buchan also acted as the Executive Architect on the Urban Diner which opened in June 2015, working in collaboration with MGS Architects to conceive the design.

Our concept for the new East/West mall introduces a new generation sculptured and glazed design with wide, sunlit malls, natural materials and marble stone floors characterising the spaces.  The latest in lighting and technology showcases brands and ensures an enhanced experience for shoppers.

Managing Director, Bruce Shaw said the rejuvenated Centre epitomises the new face of retail, creating a lifestyle destination beyond that of the traditional retail model.

“The new Pacific Werribee is set to become the community focal point for shopping, dining and entertainment,” said Bruce.

“We are extremely proud to have worked with The Pacific Group of Companies and the team to deliver such a compelling and authentic lifestyle experience for the region.  We look forward to seeing the next and final stage of the redevelopment open to the public for their enjoyment.”

Mews Brighton to embody the ultimate in beachside, luxury living

July 14, 2016

Construction recently commenced on The Mews Brighton in one of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs, laying the foundations for the ultimate in luxury living in its beachside location.

The boutique development for AZX Group comprises 21 elegant apartments over three levels with a separate private villa at the rear.

Buchan provided design development for the complex which has the comfort of residents at its heart.  Timeless design is imbued in the larger than usual apartment spaces with floor-to-ceiling glass doors circumnavigating each residence.  The exquisite interiors feature a light, classic and contemporary colour palette to merge the sense of timelessness throughout. 

Associate, Hang Xu said the development offers residents’ the winning combination of luxury, comfort, convenience and accessibility in a beachside location. “Brighton is renowned for its convenience and liveability. The development is central to pristine beaches and historic gardens, complimented by a plethora of shopping, dining, health, education and transport options.  Adding to that, the apartments themselves imbue a sense of holiday in the everyday through the opulent quality of materials and designer features.” 

The development is due for completion in 2017.

Brickworks Up and Running

July 13, 2016

The Brickworks at LynnMall in Auckland has taken out NZ's top Retail Property award, winning the RCG Retail Property ‘Best in Category’ at the 2016 Property Council of New Zealand/Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards.

The  brief for ‘The Brickworks’ required provision for the immediate new uses but to not preclude future development onsite. A character environment distinct from the rest of the shopping centre was sought, following the design philosophy that Lynnmall should develop towards a series of ‘precincts’, rather than continuing the homogeneous internalised shopping centre.

To achieve this, The Buchan Group proposed a series of buildings, of varied scale and character rather than one continuous building, with the intention of achieving a high quality Entertainment/Leisure/Dining precinct.

The 2 key components required were a 21st century ‘big box’ cinema, elevated over the car park, and “grounded” to reinforce the corner of Veronica Street and Totara Avenue with a welcoming entry foyer, combined with a series of small scale buildings with saw-tooth roof forms recalling and referring to the light industrial and manufacturing heritage buildings of New Lynn which house the restaurant/dining offer.

Compliance with the District Plan, including those specifically related to ‘active edge’ provisions to Veronica Street were achieved through a series of entries along the street edge, rather than a singular ‘Grand’ entry found in traditional shopping centres.  This gives the street elevation a variety building forms and materials palette with a series of entry points and tactile façade where seating zones can spill out of the tenancies to create interaction with the internal spaces behind. 

In summary, the architectural response has focussed on three key elements; one of dealing with the varied building mass required, the second relating to permeability from the street edge and the third around creating a unique precinct through the use of authentic and character building forms that are the framework for bespoke tenant fitouts.

Success for The Landing at Wigram Skies

July 12, 2016

The Landing, located at the heart of Wigram Skies, provides convenient, modern and thoughtfully designed retail and mixed use space for Wigram Skies residents and greater south west Christchurch. 

With its series of lanes connecting the town square and main street, providing protected walkways for pedestrians and spaces for gathering, The Landing masterplan provides accessible retail stores, first floor offices and community services such as a medical centre, childcare facility, professional and veterinary services as well as a range of cafes and restaurants. 

With a modern New World supermarket (designed by McCoy Wixon) anchoring Stage 1 of the development and a range of already popular eateries all anchored by an architecturally designed town square at its centre, this landscaped area encourages visitors to take time out, relax and appreciate their surroundings. 

Developed by Ngai Tahu Property and designed to recognise the importance of the site’s historical heritage as the former Wigram Aerdrome, The Buchan Group re-introduced the aviation aesthetic through aeronautical elements such as the ‘winged’ canopies and ‘wheel strut’ columns. Reflecting Ngāi Tahu’s history on the site, numerous Maori artworks are spread throughout the built form and landscaping. 

Seen by many as their ‘local’ the urban design principles applied to The Landing will only strengthen as each stage of the development opens. The project has already seen much success with the recent Best in Category win for the PCNZ Natural Habitats Urban Land Developments Property Awards.

The local community, including Aidenfield, who access The Landing from a motorway overbridge, have been quick to support the development, already creating a sense of community and ‘coming together’ of these new suburbs.

Buchan opens its studio for Open House Melbourne

July 11, 2016

Buchan’s new studio in the historic Mail Exchange Building will open its doors to the public as part of this year’s Open House Melbourne. Visitors will be guided on a journey of the old and the new as they transition from the magnificent façade and stairwell into Buchan’s industrial chic studio. 

One of Melbourne’s earliest examples of Classical Revival Architecture, the Mail Exchange opened in 1917 to relieve the congestion at the nearby Melbourne GPO on the corner of Elizabeth and Bourke Street.  Today, it provides an inspiring new canvas on which Buchan is designing the buildings of the future.

“The architectural significance of the Mail Exchange has provided an apt home for our designers,” said Principal, David Drover.

“We have designed our studio fit out to inspire and invigorate and we are delighted to open up the experience to the people of Melbourne.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the history of the Mail Exchange and to take a glimpse into studio life and our role in helping to sculpt Melbourne’s architectural landscape.”

Guided tours of the Mail Exchange’s historical staircase and Buchan’s studio will take place on Sunday 31st July between 10am and 1pm. 

Features of the tour will include 3D models; projections of the studio’s fit out journey, our history, work and relevance; a spaghetti and marshmallow tower challenge; and virtual reality technology.

Tours can be pre-booked from Monday 18 July.  For more information go to:


The Changing Face of Retail

July 5, 2016

Shopping centres today demand a distinctive edge to compete with urban densification, an oversupply of centres and the robust growth of online shopping.  Retail malls alone are no longer enough. 

It’s about creating lifestyle destinations: compelling, authentic, welcoming and safe spaces that encourage customers to linger longer - Sophisticated food and beverage offerings in place of traditional, centralised food courts; the introduction of big name international retailers; and integration with community facilities such as art centres, libraries, fitness clubs, commercial offices and education facilities.

Through our experience in placemaking and designing mixed use lifestyle destinations, The Buchan Group inherently understands that community ‘ownership’ is the new heart and soul of shopping centres, prompting an emotional investment and connection to place. We work with community stakeholders to ensure the development envelops the community context, turning the shopping centre from a commodity to a destination.

QIC’s $665 million expansion of Eastland Shopping Centre is one such example.  Buchan's contribution to the project fosters community connections by employing design elements inspired by the surrounding Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, cementing it as an entertainment and leisure focal point for the residents of Ringwood.

The Centre is set to become one of Melbourne’s most progressive and exciting urban lifestyle destinations, offering a fusion of food, fashion and lifestyle brands and introducing a seamless integration of art, culture, learning and events.

Grant Withers
Principal – Head of Design