GPT’s Melbourne Central is set to undergo its biggest transformation in almost 20 years as part of a quest to become a ‘temple of meaning’ for Melburnians and evolve into a globally-recognised place of cultural and social exchange that nurtures and inspires its users.
As of 2021, the centre will reinvent itself with the addition of an expansive open-air space offering a 2,000m2 public oasis atop the city, a series of unexpected experiential spaces, a surprising new large-scale art installation, exciting hawker stalls and much more.
An experiential space, it will be a haven for emerging retail and cultural concepts, a place for events, education and learning.
Coupled with the centre’s recently announced new 10-storey commercial office tower Frame, as well as its newly opened 1,800 square metre boutique food and drink retail hub ELLA, it marks the largest transformation of the site since its 2001 redevelopment following the departure of Japanese department store Daimaru.
And in a nod to the past, Melbourne Central’s owner The GPT Group has brought back the original architects, ARM Architecture, responsible for the dramatic makeover that reimagined it as the distinct collection of precincts and laneways it is now known for.
Its full designs will be unveiled in the coming months but the new look will involve the addition of two new retail levels that transition to the new timber office tower’s skylobby and surrounding rooftop.
Existing Drewery Place will be reactivated, becoming an additional entry for the commercial tower and featuring a small cafe; while the rooftop will face to the north, commanding plenty of light and views of the iconic Melbourne Central cone.
ARM Architecture Principal Ian McDougall said Melbourne Central was the first CBD site to explore such dramatically transformative changes to its offer in order to maximise its relevance.
“Melbourne Central is really reconceiving the notion of what retail is and exploring what else it can be and seeing its own rooftop as a valuable site for more than just financial exchange,” he said.
Melbourne Central’s redevelopment plans are currently being considered by Melbourne City Council for approval, with construction projected to commence in early 2020 with minimal impacts to trading.
Source: Shopping Centre News