Australian retail developer Sandhurst Retail has selected Dutch designer Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) to design a shopping centre and community space in Whittlesea, a city 25km north of Melbourne.
The 9,000 sq m Wollert Neighbourhood Centre will resemble a barcode, with retail space integrated into a larger community area containing a central public courtyard, childcare and education facilities, and an accessible roof with room for sports and urban agriculture.
The development is viewed as the heart of a larger residential and commercial masterplan.
Paul Jones, OMA’s regional director, said: "Suburban shopping centres are often places for pure consumption. We conceived the Wollert Neighbourhood Centre as social infrastructure where retail and social interaction weigh equally.
"Existing community activity centres in Wollert’s surrounding areas, separated from retail programmes, are often underutilised. They fail to bring the community together."
Vivek Subramanian, Sandhurst Retail’s director, said: "OMA’s greatest strength is in rethinking strategies and approaches from first principles, while avoiding preconceived solutions and approaches – they are the perfect team to collaborate with while we explore new ways of delivering growth-area retail."
Construction on the project is due to begin in 2023.
Images courtesy of OMA