melbourne central
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This part experimental Installation part retail tenancy ‘incubator’ contends to spurn new businesses and promote GPT’s (Melbourne Central’s) desire to change the face of casual leasing and promote emerging retail innovators. It exemplifies a shift from mass to unique, explores the surge in niche and offers the opportunity to surprise and delight customers through its theme of “moments, stories and events” where individuality rules, conformity is frowned upon and owning something no else has is ‘hot’!

Located in a disused access corridor the brief required a low cost, quirky, functional & robust space with flexibility to transform itself & cater for different types of retail tenant. The site specific proposal hoped to provide a ‘destination’ - regenerating and revitalising the previously dead circulation through route - with a self supporting structure that could permit wall displays, flexibility to house more than one tenant, an enticing entry statement, change room & portable POS facilities as well as GPT ‘s requirement for a strong ESD focus.

The concept of the chicken coop whimsically references childhood memories of incubators, seeds in cotton wool under lights and chickens in chicken coops. Rather than fit out the corridor ‘tube’, the proposal instead appears as an insertion or tube within a tube. Aesthetically similar to the humble chook shed on a bed of grass, ‘The Coop’ s appears as a conceptually clean container expressing a rudimentary constructivist aesthetic which turns its head away from the slick and flashy of mainstream retail.

The randomly placed flaps functionally enable The Coop complete flexibility to aesthetically and functionally change formation depending on the tenants whim. The 900 interval fin column modules each provide 2 hinged and/or stayed flaps which can be fully or partly opened offering shoppers vignettes in & out of the container and provide valuable hang and display devices. Tenants may retail off the internal walls, the exterior, the ceiling or even on stepped floor. Two alternative side entry doors, a cental fixed structural brace panel and optional bi-fold wall tenancy dividers enable alternate change room positions and multiple (up to 3) tenants if/when required. In this way The Coop acts as a chameleon depending on the mood, stock level or brand statement of the tenant/s.

Currently Shortlisted:
Interior Design Awards 2009