Breathing new life into a 1960’s minimalist icon, the design principles for Adelaide’s Rundle Mall Plaza were: Respect Heritage; Reference Dadswell’s Neo-Cubism; Contextual Design Solution; Connectivity to Surroundings; Fashion & Dining Destination.
Combining architecture, interior design and project management; the brief was to fit-out the existing mall for a new international mini-major and upgrade the finishes, escalators and façades, as well as create design for a new, modern dining terrace, including internal voids.
The design brief offered a series of challenges, including working with an existing steel frame structure that housed ongoing operational tenancies. Furthermore, the project required liaison with multiple stakeholders and a sensitive design response when refreshing this iconic, historically significant building and its prominent minimalist facade.
The redevelopment intended to launch Rundle Mall Plaza into an aspirational and experiential driven retail centre, a fashion destination and provide an exemplary food experience for central business district shoppers and working professionals. The unrivalled higher-end dining experience is a crucial facilitator of this.
In considering the brief, the design team investigated national and international precedents that prove the success of this strategy and validate the intention to create a unique contextually driven design solution.
The designers elected to add to and subtract from the existing building, creating voids in places and wrapping around new fabric in others. These design decisions coupled with the relocation of the sculpture and the new feature ceilings are showstoppers.
Working with existing building fabric is always a challenge, especially in such a prominent building located within an extremely busy location. Hames Sharley chose to engage with ODASA throughout the design process to ensure a design outcome of the highest quality. Adelaide City Council has been very supportive throughout the process, noting that the building required an upgrade to breathe new life into this 1960’s minimalist icon.
The main driver for the project was the transformational outcome, understanding that the existing building fabric would pose challenges in achieving this. In anticipation of such challenges, off-site/modular manufacturing was maximized. The façade panels each consist of individual Staron panels welded together, pre-fixed to aluminium framing. Steel plates corresponding to this framing were fixed to the building façade, so that the Staron panels were craned into place and hooked on the façade.
Hames Sharley utilised their extensive experience in retail when selecting materials for the project. Great care was taken to ensure materials were sourced locally where possible or came from reliable and ethical sources if not. The quality of materials will assist in longevity, reducing the need to replace and upgrade materials and finishes.
The selection of Staron for the façade was influenced by the non-toxic and renewable qualities of the material. Panels can be repaired in-situ or removed and reused, reducing waste.