"Canberra Centre now offers sophisticated retail spaces, a welcoming public realm and an elegant level of refined urbanity appropriate for a national capital." —ArchitectureAU.com
Key design updates included the scalloped awnings that surround the external facades, originally derived from those at David Jones were reinstated but engineered to meet the needs of solar shading today. A modern twist on the original mosaic to the underside was reinterpreted using a brass toned pressed metal. Once uplit these awnings acted as a lantern to frame the city blocks of the Canberra Centre.
Inside, the shell and core were stripped back to provide focus to the new undulating gradient floor pattern conceived to emphasise this public realm. Sculptural bronze balustrades were crafted to frame the views between the three floors and layered in the depth of the plan to become more dynamic in movement as you pass.
Bespoke chamfered triangular units made locally in jesmonite created depth and relief to the beauty arcade. Lighting was integrated into each panel to create a natural distribution rather than the usual standard even distribution akin to a typical mall environment. Smaller marble and terrazzo triangles adorn the floor below. Natural sunlight was directed through these textured chamfered cones to create both a sense of place within the mall and in its context, whilst also creating contrasting and unexpected natural light patterns.
By emphasising the civic significance of this landmark project, the remodelled Canberra Centre gives the city and its residents somewhere to meet up and spend time as much as to shop. Most importantly, it restores civic pride in a key public asset, providing a boost for the city of Canberra at both a local and national level.