Pacific Fair Shopping Center Redeveopment, Commercial Center, designed by Place Design Group
Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is a Gold Coast icon, established in 1977 on 16.6ha in the heart of Broadbeach, neighbouring the renowned The Star Gold Coast casino, formerly named the Jupiter’s Casino.
In 2014 Place Design Group were engaged to deliver the entire landscape architecture works, including internal and external areas of the centre’s $670 million-dollar redevelopment.
In the past, town squares and village greens were the main meeting point to socialise before and after shopping, or during a shopping break. The movement into retail shopping centres challenged this notion, as space was not considered to facilitate the social and community interactions that these outdoor spaces encouraged. The growing competition from online shopping has also presented the challenge of how brick and mortar retail centres can re-engage shoppers, with external landscape design not only creating visual interest but also providing a curated experience. The redevelopment of the iconic Pacific Fair Shopping Centre aimed to bring back and embrace the strong relationship between socialising and shopping.
With this thinking, the creative team tasked with the design of Pacific Fair’s outdoor spaces considered what the role of these spaces have been traditionally, and what they needed to become for Pacific Fair to take the lead as a world-class destination shopping and community centre. The roles of these spaces were considered not only for the shopping experience, but also as part of the direct community, and what impression the redevelopment had to make to position Pacific Fair Shopping Centre as a leading destination for the Gold Coast tourism market.
The ‘Resort’ became the key vision for the new Pacific Fair and was the inspirational driver behind the curation and the delivered outcomes. Through the choice of specific materials, plantings and colours, the design delivers a holiday atmosphere that is truly representative of the Gold Coast/Queensland lifestyle. Iconic for beach getaways and ultimate relaxation, a shopping precinct on the Gold Coast had to incorporate spaces for the inclusion of relaxation focused furniture and light, breezy cabana settings offering respite from the bustling retail area.
The external precinct spaces needed to be carefully considered for their function and the behaviour that was intended to be created within them. For example, calming spaces vs active spaces, and spaces for children vs spaces for adults. Finishes were selected to create separation and passive behaviour; water features were incorporated to create soft calming noise and the furniture was chosen to promote the holiday experience within a shopping centre and a sense of community.
A new role for landscape architecture in the shopping centre space, the redevelopment of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre is a leading example of how external landscape areas designed correctly can be an engaging experience rather than simply offering thoroughfares to move between commercial tenancies. Through innovative design, Pacific Fair was transformed from a ‘big old gal’ to a resort style destination precinct that has transformed the thinking of outdoor shopping centre design.
Completed in mid 2016, the luxurious resort-style landscape design of Pacific Fair and the curation of the spaces within has set a new bench mark in destination and community shopping centre design. The redevelopment has magnified the role and value of landscape architecture within the commercial space. Pacific Fair has been a game changer for the industry. It has changed the thinking around the value of these spaces to the shopping centres and also the direct community when planned and designed correctly.
Place Design Group is continuing works on the Pacific Fair Redevelopment, with work recently starting on the next stage, which will see pedestrian improvements to Hooker Boulevard linking the light rail through to the main entrance. This will improve directional flow, enhancing the arrival experience to welcome visitors to the world-class shopping centre experience that awaits.
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