OMA creates a new shopping centre in Melbourne, Australia

OMA has created the design for a new 10,000-square-metre shopping centre in Melbourne, Australia. The new retail experience, called Wollert Neighborhood Centre, is located in Wollert, Whittlesea, one of Victoria’s fastest-growing regions, in the suburbs of Melbourne.
Commissioned by Australian retail developer Sandhurst Retail, the new centre, sitting on a 3.3-hectare area, will combine a retail program with community spaces, including a central public courtyard, amenity spaces, and childcare and education facilities to create a place for communal experience.
A shaded courtyard and an amphitheater generate “a space for curated community events and daily activities, encouraging residents in Wollert and neighboring suburbs to spend time in the Centre and engage with each other”. The design creates more possibilities for spatial configurations with an accessible roof. Sports, education and urban agriculture can be implemented in these spaces. For retail, vertical stripes house amenity spaces, facilities for children, and well-being-focused retail offerings.
A Single-level parking, located at ground level will be used as an additional outdoor public amenity space and is separated from the pedestrian-friendly northern facade, “while offering clearly-defined routes connected to the center’s multiple entrances”.
“Suburban shopping centres are often places for pure consumption. We conceived the Wollert Neighbourhood Centre as social infrastructure where retail and social interaction weigh equal.”, said OMA.
Designed as a civic landmark, the center is connected to the existing transportation systems and directly linked to the greater Melbourne area.
The plans have been submitted to the Whittlesea Council and works expected to commence in 2023.