Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents 132 WA's Best Commercial Designs 2010
target market and culture. ey then set about
ensuring the interior design reflects the brand.
Craig Steere Architects director Craig Steere --
responsible for the Morrison boutique shops in
Garden City and Chadstone Shopping Centre in
Victoria -- says there is a common misconception
that only high-end retailers use designers.
"I think there is a happy medium. A clever
designer can achieve a cost-effective solution
otherwise it can be an opportunity missed by the
retailer. It pays to invest in quality and expertise
but communication between the client and the
designer is key."
Tom agrees, saying the cost between
implementing and not implementing initiatives
could spell disaster.
"If you have a low budget you need to spend
more on design but it shouldn't outweigh the final
cost of what you need to spend on the store. You
can get low budget solutions."
Slowly but surely, it appears that Perth is
coming out of the retail doldrums -- extended
trading hours in the inner city suburbs of Mt
Lawley, Victoria Park and Subiaco will begin on
January 1, and there is an almost unstoppable push
for the rest of the metropolitan area to follow suit.
New shopping complexes are also popping
up -- 2009 alone saw the opening of Stage 1 of
Claremont Quarter, as well as the enex100 and
Wesley Quarter developments in the Perth CBD.
Designlinc'd design manager and tenancy
co-ordinator Karen Ford worked on all of these
projects and says customers are expecting more.
"Good design is essential because customers
are informed and Perth is offering a retail choice.
Good design understands the target market and
the product, and is not limited to colour and
finishes of the wall, floor and shopfront."
Some say that the right retail design can turn
shopping into an emotional experience.
According to Craig: "If it's quirky or interesting,
comfortable and inviting, people will continue to
go there and promote it to their friends."
And it's not just consumers who are expecting
more -- savvy prospective employees are also
looking for an exciting experience and a good
retail environment can improve staff satisfaction.
"I think a positive staff attitude is extremely
important because that's the next step in
communicating to the target market," Craig says.
As with most kinds of design, retail design is
very individual and completely dependent on the
type of store. Trends are always evolving, including
"minimalism" and designers' approach towards it.
"We went through the minimalist stage a few
years ago where everything in a designer store was
painted white. e sparseness inferred the product
was expensive," Tom says.
"If it's a Giorgio Armani store in the centre of
Paris or Rome it can still work, but in Australia it's
a difficult trend to last for a long period of time.
e trend at the moment is still minimalist but
with more of an emphasis on natural materials."
Increasingly, there is a focus is on careful,
quality design. ose with limited budgets now
have access to innovative materials and methods
that are also environmentally friendly.
"Whether that's using recycled materials, or
older buildings leaving damaged plaster work and
exposed steel or timber structures and brick work, I
think designers are being more clever with working
with budgets to create a theme," Craig says.
Roxby Architects director Adam Roxby, whose
firm has overseen the design of DIA (WA) 09
Awards entrants e Co-op Bookshop at UWA,
e Good Grocer in Applecross, Betts Claremont
Quarter and Zu Sydney Central, says great
design encompasses brand reinforcement, cost,
functionality, emotional experience, durability,
flexibility, ergonomics and sustainability.
"Competitive retailing will rarely succeed
without well considered design. Great design
will always reinforce the values of the brand and
for many, a purchasing decision will be strongly
influenced by these values."
e new look for e Co-op Bookshop is an
example of referencing traditional values as well as
evolving the space into a more dynamic, vibrant
and contemporary retail environment -- "more in
keeping with the passion and energy embodied in
our nation's greatest learning institutions".
Karen says the best advice she could offer was
to keep things simple: "Rely on one masterpiece
of design ingenuity to carry off the concept,
from finish, colour and texture, right through to
branding and signage and ticketing," she says.
WA design firms are responsible for The Co-op Bookshop at UWA (top left), the Morrison boutique shop at Chadstone Shopping Centre,
Victoria (top centre), Live Joondalup (far right), Zu Sydney Central (bottom centre) and Planet Books in Mt Lawley (bottom left).
The Co-op Bookshop image courtesy of Roxby Architects; Morrison image courtesy of Craig Steere Architects, photography SDP Photo; Live image
courtesy of Brooking Design Practice, photography Robert Frith, Acorn Photo Agency; Zu image courtesy of Roxby Architects; Planet Books image
courtesy of Brooking Design Practice, photography Robert Frith, Acorn Photo Agency
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