CapitaMall Westgate delivers new retail and lifestyle heart

June 16, 2017

CapitaMall Westgate recently opened in Wuhan, China presenting a neighbourhood style mixed use development to address the retail and social aspirations of residents in this ever expanding city.

The development, by CaptiaMalls Asia, combines retail, entertainment and leisure spaces, offices and SOHO (small office/home office) apartments into a middle to high end commercial and retail complex.

The 400,000m2 project sits on a 70,400m2 site area located at a major road intersection adjacent to an above ground light rail network and major underground metro station.

Associate Kevin Adasko said the project sets a new benchmark for developments in the region.

“CapitaMall Westgate presents a progressive and exciting lifestyle destination for local residents, with everything they need in a single, accessible location.

“Retail needs were previously under-serviced for the region’s growing middle-income population, and the development has not only created a significant shopping hub, but a social heart for people to connect.”

The Buchan Group provided master planning, architectural, interior, landscaping and signage design services for the project which links people to the spaces and promotes a sense of community through the art of place making.

A large sunken plaza at the major western entry point connects the towers and the adjacent residential precinct to the retail mall, whilst extensive green spaces at the entry and on roof terraces extend the public domain throughout the development.

An ice rink within the entertainment complex acts as the central focal point of the project, overlooked by tiered dining precincts on the floors above. A magnificent full height glass window frames the precinct, presenting views over the mall entrance and building a strong connection to the wider community.

Buchan hosts 2017 Asset Enhancement Symposium

May 19, 2017

From L to R: Grant Withers, Buchan Group; Julian Boot, Equiem; Shinya Kogawa, Nikken Sekkei Construction Management; Josef Seidler, Vicinity Centres.

The Buchan Group recently hosted the 2017 Asset Enhancement Symposium, aimed at bringing together key industry colleagues to explore trends in unlocking the latent value of buildings.

The event was the third in a series of exclusive symposiums hosted by Buchan, following the 2015 and 2016 seminars which focussed on Retail and Mixed-Use developments respectively. 

This year’s event turned the spotlight on developing assets to their full potential, with a panel of leading industry specialists examining the changing needs of building owners and the benefits of refurbishment, renovation, adaptation, technology and future proofing.

Buchan Principal Andrew Mackenzie said the symposium sought to begin a conversation around advancing innovation and opportunities in asset management.  

“Asset Enhancement is certainly topical right now.  It is an integral part of what Buchan, our clients and consultants do, as we work to transform, and optimize the value of, multiple development types across the globe.”

“Our expert line up of speakers provided some truly innovative and diverse insights into revamping assets to enrich the customer experience and create maximum value for the client.”

The panel was made up of Josef Seidler, Regional General Manager of Development at Vicinity Centres; Julian Boot, CTO at Equiem; Shinya Kogawa, Director at Nikken Sekkei Construction Management in Japan; and Grant Withers, Principal at The Buchan Group.

Collectively they discussed the customers’ influence on major asset management; the role of technology in enhancing buildings and the user experience; and exemplar case studies demonstrating how

Brisbane Showgrounds King’s Co-op

May 18, 2017

The regeneration of Brisbane’s Showgrounds will see pavilions and food outlets transform into the social, creative and community retail concept, Kings Co-op in the coming months. 

Located at the northern end of King Street in Bowen Hills, Kings Co-op forms a significant part of the history of the Brisbane Exhibition, known locally as the “Ekka”, and includes the Royal Snack Bar, Sugar Pavilion and the Dairy Hall Pavilion. Featuring sections constructed progressively during the past century, the Kings Co-op redevelopment will showcase prime retail, food and beverage offerings, and provide seasonal function spaces and a multi-deck carpark. 

In a design that links the cultural heritage and urban future aspirations of the Brisbane Showgrounds Master Plan, the transformed space will incorporate rescued materials from key warehouse and pavilion structures within the showgrounds precinct. Led by Senior Associate Paul Watson The Buchan Group is working with RNA’s Joint Venture Partner Lendlease on stage three of the 15 year $2.9 billion Showgrounds regeneration project.


May 16, 2017

Brisbane’s historic Cleveland Point will soon welcome an exciting residential development, designed to protect and showcase Queensland’s oldest and largest Banyan Fig tree.  Upon completion, the residential complex will consist of 33 boutique apartments, with varied balconies arranged strategically to create complementary reflections and shadows on the building’s façade.

The new development has been carefully designed to integrate with the heritage-listed tree and the building’s coastal fringe surroundings. The majestic Banyan Fig tree on site has a 12-metre trunk with an extensive root system underneath, so it was important to develop a design that would not impact the tree, both now and in the future.

The building has been significantly set back from the streetscape to provide a buffer between the tree and the apartments and to ensure a generous landscaped area adjacent to North Street’s pedestrian link. This also creates an enjoyable space to be used by residents and visitors, while also showcasing the Banyan Tree.

In adding to the Banyan Tree, North Street is also home to Queensland’s oldest licensed hotel, the heritage-listed Grand View Hotel.

Buchan Director Gerry Holmes said that the proposed residential development has been designed and sited using a form and scale that complements the Grand View Hotel.

“The design pays tribute to the surrounding urban, historical and coastal context of the area, whilst enhancing the visual amenity of the site for residents, visitors and the local community,” he said.

“The upper floor of the complex is terraced to soften the building’s impact from the street. This design strategy reduces the visual bulk of the building and also allows the project to sit comfortably in the surrounding landscape.

“The orientation of the building gives each apartment more than one aspect to take advantage of cross-ventilation and also includes balconies on both the north and south façades of the building. 

“This allows residents access to the views north towards Moreton Bay as well as uninterrupted southern views of GJ Walter Park and the adjoining Moreton Bay beyond.

“Once completed, the proposed development will positively contribute to the coastal foreshore amenity of Cleveland, while acknowledging its neighbours and providing an attractive living space for residents.”

2018 National Architecture Conference

May 15, 2017

Buchan is proud to announce our involvement in the 2018 National Architecture Conference to be held at the Gold Coast. A submission for the position of Creative Directors for the conference was curated by our Gold Coast office and submitted on behalf of the Gold Coast / Northern Rivers Regional Australian Institute of Architects members. The nominated Creative Directors are Brett Saville from Buchan Gold Coast and Barry Lee from DBI Design.

Legoland completes latest stage of Chadstone’s entertainment evolution

May 11, 2017

The Southern Hemisphere’s first Legoland Discovery Centre recently opened its doors at Chadstone, unveiling the latest drawcard for the retail and entertainment mecca.

The $12 million Lego centre by Merlin Entertainments features a four-dimensional cinema, a detailed model of Melbourne, interactive rides and more than two million Lego bricks. 

The centre’s opening follows the October launch of two new dining precincts and a Hoyts digital cinema complex, along with over 100 new retailers and a Tesla Motors dealership as part of Chadstone’s $660 million Stage 40 revamp. 

The Buchan Group worked in collaboration with Vicinity Centres, The Gandel Group and CallisonRTKL to deliver the centre’s latest redevelopment and is thrilled to be part of another significant chapter in the centre’s entertainment evolution.

“We are extremely proud to have been involved in the Stage 40 redevelopment and the new entertainment and lifestyle concepts it has introduced,” said Principal Andrew Mackenzie.

“In the 30 plus years Buchan has worked on Chadstone, the changing face of retail has seen social experiences become just as vital as the retail offer, and the centre has embraced this in spectacular fashion. 

“Legoland and the wider entertainment precinct have reimagined the leisure and lifestyle offer of Australian shopping centres.”

Legoland is expected to attract more than 22 million visitors this year alone, building upon the already significant foot traffic to the centre.


May 4, 2017

The redevelopment of Kingsway City Shopping Centre is one step closer with Buchan Perth receiving Planning Approval for Stage 1A of this major project in Perth’s northern suburbs.

The upgrade will see the existing centre expanded alongside the addition of three freestanding buildings.

A new airlock to the west mall entry will also be added and the existing external West façade will be refurbished with new canopies and finishes.

The detailed design and layout of the development promotes an enhanced level of pedestrian movement, activity and interaction, whilst providing a focal point and hub for the local community.

Kingsway City Shopping Centre’s design proposal incorporates contemporary urban design principles promoting community identity and community live-ability at its core.

The proposed development will welcome an exciting international mini major retailer to the centre’s 1500m2 northern expansion, to strengthen the retailing sector.

Freestanding buildings proposed for the site include a 1000m2 commercial/retail building, an 82 child early learning school and a swim school.

Kingsway’s central location at the intersection of two significant regional roads (Wanneroo Road and Hepburn Avenue) is perfectly suited for the proposed mixed use project.

Vivid 2017

April 24, 2017

The Buchan Group is thrilled to have been selected again for this year’s Vivid Festival in Sydney, as artist for three installations (inSIGHT, re/FRACTION and Portholes), and collaborator for a further four (Uncovered World, MUSIC|box, 100 Ways to Say I Love You and The Big Red Button).

inSIGHT, which will be located in the Royal Botanic Gardens, recreates one of our most familiar sights--the human face--as a gigantic low-fidelity display. Strands of programmable LEDs are woven through the sculpture, creating voxels at twenty times natural scale. Ever-changing in expression, gender and character, inSIGHT will combine visual representations of sound, weather and other phenomena.

In Martin Place, re/FRACTION will fill the Lloyd Rees fountain with brilliantly glittering, refracted light. This turbulent canvas will greet festival goers with scenes, characters, colour and movement, giving residents and visitors an opportunity to see a very familiar landmark in a new, vibrant, light.

Portholes will transform a wall in the Rocks into a glimpse of the unknown, from ocean depths to planetary orbits. These marvels are revealed by projecting imagery into an array of windows, giving the observer a view into the imagined worlds beyond. Representations and abstractions will appear, shifting in colour, light, nature and culture.

Hunt Club Village cements standard for community living

March 31, 2017

The Hunt Club Village has delivered the final piece of the lifestyle puzzle for residents of the Hunt Club Estate.  The much anticipated shopping centre has cemented the standard for community living in Melbourne's south-east.

Featuring state-of-the-art schools, a children's centre and a retirement village, the wider Hunt Club Estate is founded on a range of amenities and services within a natural environment.  A sense of community is fostered through the surrounding wetlands and parks featuring pathways for cycling and walking.

Completed in 2015, Stage One of the contemporary shopping hub comprises 9,000m2 of retail facilities prominently located on the perimeter of the estate, within close walking distance for residents. 

The one level centre comprises a 4,200m2 Woolworths, 1,580m2 Aldi, 1,700m2 Dan Murphy’s, approximately 1,950m2 of specialty retail and central on-grade parking for 430 cars. 

Principal Andrew Mackenzie said Buchan’s design for the Village is inspired by the broader estate.

"The design for the centre seeks to integrate with the Hunt Club Estate’s strong sense of community and affinity with nature.

"The prominent use of high quality tactile finishes and natural timber and stone references the surrounding natural environment and provides a consistent and recognisable identity to residents."

Stage Two of the development is expected to commence shortly, further expanding on the array of retail amenities.

Northcote Hill presents residential rarity

February 28, 2017

Northcote Hill Townhouses and Apartments recently reached completion, delivering a residential rarity on the premier hilltop site.

The boutique four storey development for Landream comprises 35 townhouses and nine apartments that capitalise on the sloping site.  Positioned near the peak of Northcote Hill, many residences afford panoramic views towards the city and picturesque inner suburban Melbourne.

Project Principal David Forbes said the development offers a unique blend of luxury, convenience and privacy.

“Northcote Hill’s point of difference is the stunning elevated outlook combined with homes designed to the finest detail. 

“Add in the quiet, cul-de-sac location within walking distance to the vibrancy of High Street's cafes, restaurants and shops, and you have the ideal balance for a modern inner urban lifestyle.”

Crafted with liveability in mind, the enduring and contemporary interiors offer open plan living spaces with engineered timber flooring, European appliances and reconstituted stone bench tops. 

Each home benefits from a generous courtyard, balcony or terrace and a sense of community is derived from the central private garden.  A water feature reflects the development’s elegant contemporary design and presents a quiet, contemplative space for residents.

William Square Redevelopment

February 1, 2017

Buchan Perth have recently received Development Approval for the refurbishment of 45 Francis Street, the ATO building in Northbridge. 

The proposal, prepared for Warrington Property, will revitalise the existing building via a contemporary design approach for the streetscape facades, and re-activation of the ground floor tenancies, to allow for the creation of a new public space at the William/Francis Street corner.

The refurbishment project will coincide with the relaunch of the building as an office, retail and public precinct known as ‘William Square’.

The architectural vision for the aesthetic expression of the refurbished facades is inspired by the diverse cultural fabric and heritage of Northbridge.

The existing Loreto Tower will be removed, significantly enhancing the corner identity and improving visibility to release greater retail potential. This space will be protected from the elements by a striking glass canopy, some 8 metres above floor level. A second glass roof, mirroring that at William Square, will convert the previously barren forecourt on Francis Street into a habitable space for the enjoyment of the public. The minimal geometry of the new canopies seeks to offer a calming counter balance and a ‘connecting ribbon’ to the rich expression of the façade screens; their scale and volume bringing visual significance to establish William Square and the refurbished Forecourt as new major public gathering spaces.

The office foyer will be refitted with new quality finishes and furniture, and activated by adjoining food and beverage tenancies. The existing lightwell that currently stops at first floor level, will be extended to the lobby level to provide natural light into the ground level foyer to the newly introduced lobby planting.

New two storey perforated aluminium façade screens are proposed along the William Street and Francis Street elevations to improve the building presentation on this prominent corner, providing solar protection for the office spaces behind, whilst maintaining views. The screens will be lit at night to provide a dramatic backdrop to the lively Northbridge nightlife.

The geometric pattern of the Francis Street façade screens take inspiration from the area’s strong Greek cultural heritage, whilst the golden hues of the proposed William Street façade screens reference the impact of the gold boom era on the precinct.

The heavily tinted glass and precast concrete panels of the first two levels of existing building façade overlooking the forecourt will be replaced by contemporary clear floor to ceiling glazing to extend views to and from the internal spaces and the newly refurbished Forecourt.

The textural detailing of these new public spaces are laced by a raw and slightly gritty urban  material palette of natural timber, concrete and stone, to fit within the contemporary Northbridge context, which is notably in contrast to the nearby more formal and corporate CBD location. 

The redevelopment will create worthwhile urban spaces, a destination for public use and enjoyment, with a distinct character which engages with the evolving Northbridge.

Marco Melbourne delivers new level of luxury to Southbank site

January 31, 2017

The signature dual towers of Marco Melbourne recently reached completion, creating a prominent presence on Melbourne’s skyline and a residential address of exquisite style and quality within the heart of cultural Melbourne.

The striking development, by Golden Sunrise Developments, offers a high level of luxury and the ultimate in modern city living in its prime Southbank location, with the spoils of quintessential Melbourne on its doorstep.

Project Architect Jacqueline Loh said the design capitilises on the exclusive site.

“Marco Melbourne offers easy access to a plethora of dining, entertainment, leisure, and lifestyle opportunities in the midst of the world’s most liveable city.

“The design responds by providing breathtaking views, quality living spaces and luxury amenities worthy of the surrounds.”

The 36 and 40-level towers rise above a common podium and accommodate 433 luxury apartments in a range of configurations.  Each balcony has been orientated to take advantage of stunning views across the CBD, the Botanical Gardens and Arts Precinct, and to Port Phillip Bay.

The podium offers exclusive access to residents who benefit from an array of first class service, leisure and entertainment spaces overlooking the city. All residents enjoy access to a pool, gym, private dining room and cinema, adding to the exclusivity of the building and creating an opportunity to socialise.

“The high-quality amenities were designed to not only create a sense of opulence, but as important social spaces to foster a sense of community amongst the residents,” said Jacqueline.

Buchan’s interior vision for the development captures the style and prestige of a fine hotel with an expansive grand entry lobby featuring marble floors and a sandblasted art pattern glass feature wall.  Contemporary apartments are defined by dramatic angles combined with polished white walls and full height clear glass windows, and feature stylish finishes and quality materials throughout.