Home' Commercial : WAs Best Commercial Designs 2011 Contents 220 WA’s Best Commercial Designs 2011
Each mixed-use development is different, responding to site, location,
community and cultural issues. “For example, Raine Square is not the
same outcome within the central city as the second stage of our 500 Hay
Street development in Subiaco, which is a lower-scale office, retail
and residential environment,” Edwin explains. “We are doing further
mixed-use developments in Subiaco, Mt Lawley, East Perth, Claremont
and the City of Perth, all of which are designed to reinforce the development
of a vibrant urban community.”
Consultation with the community and local council is all-important in
the design of mixed-use buildings. This was a lesson learnt the hard way
for Stockland when designing The Village, a $300-million mixed-use
development in Balgowlah, 12km north of Sydney’s CBD.
“The Village is an excellent example of an urban redevelopment of the
type needed to accommodate our growing population,” explains a Stockland
spokesperson. “However, challenges we encountered on this project have led
us to rethink the viability of this type of development.
“We purchased the site in 2001 and didn’t get off to a good start as we
failed to undertake appropriate stakeholder engagement and submitted a
proposal that did not comply with local council guidelines. We responded to
this difficult start and after two years of consulting with the community and
council, the first stage of the development was approved in 2005.
“Although the final result has been very well received by customers and
the community, our experiences on this project were a key factor in our
decision to exit the apartments business due to the high risks created by the
planning approvals process. On a positive note, this project also reinforced
the importance of early and effective stakeholder engagement.”
Christou Design Group was careful not to replicate these problems at
Claremont Quarter. “This development truly respects its community,” says
James Christou. “It does not impede – as was a concern of the community
and local council – and has created further spaces for community interaction.
The developers have truly considered the community in this development –
and this is crucial in commercial mixed-use developments.”
“Sustainability has been at the core of architectural designs for many
years,” says Edwin, for whom the key to sustainable designs is maximising
commercial affordability. He hopes financial and statutory government
support will see sustainable initiatives become the norm in mixed-use.
“The introduction of sustainable initiatives, such as appropriate
design outcomes, orientation, insulation, photovoltaic and wind-power
generation, water harvesting and recycling, and cost-effective ventilation
systems, will eventually result in the widespread adoption of sustainable
design principles as a standard inclusion in all designs, rather than being
a point of difference.”
Developers are encouraged to spend more on sustainable initiatives:
the savings in the future are worth the initial outlay. “As most mixed-use
developments are commercial developments, the level of sustainable initiatives
incorporated often falls prey to economic conditions,” James laments.
“We have seen this with the GFC and it is disappointing, as architects,
because we know that sustainable design will return a thank-you to our
clients in the long run, with the gift of reduced utilities and maintenance
costs, and overall improved long-term profitability.” c
SNAPSHOT | Mixed-use
According to James Christou, mixed-use developments are the way to connect our precincts and, in turn, connect our society. “ Mixed-use developments allow us to walk
outside our door and get a carton of milk from the local shop rather than get in our cars and drive to the chain supermarket,” he says. “If we look at Melbourne, for example,
mixed-use developments have allowed for higher density, which is more sustainable and more environmentally considerate in so many ways. They create a more sociable,
friendly community and encourage community events and participation. Mixed-use developments place the grain, the texture, the vitality of everyday life in one place.”
BELOW Designs for the campus at Monash University.
BOTTOM Concepts of the WACA Development by Christou Design Group.
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