Here in the US, malls are being renovated, but in Melbourne, Australia the Highpoint Shopping Centre is a model of a new generation of retail destinations. Recently completed by Grimshaw Architects, the Maribyrnong shopping centre is light & airy with an ETFE roof that also works to collect rainwater. The whole project was designed around environmental and social sustainability strategies to create a meaningful public realm and to celebrate fresh air and daylight.
The Highpoint Shopping Centre is located about eight kilometers northwest of Melbourne’s central business district in the suburb of Maribyrnong. Grimshaw Architects was tasked with designing the 30,000 square-meter retail space for The GPT Group, which includes two new fashion malls and a fresh food market. Goals for the redevelopment of the mall included creating a meaningful public realm that helped with more than just retail therapy and would be built and operated in a sustainable way.
Inspired by both organic forms and contemporary art galleries, the shopping center is filled with bright natural daylight. ETFE is used on the roof to create translucent and lightweight skylights that bring light down through all the levels. Meanwhile, operable windows provide natural ventilation. Rainwater is collected from the roof and extensive landscaping swales in the parking lots process stormwater to minimize the impact on the local system. Natural and local materials were used where possible to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of the surrounding community.
Images ©Peter Bennets