The role and design of our shopping centres have evolved alongside the shifts in the way that we live, work, and play. Between the effects of the pandemic and the rising priority of wellness, the focus is now on work-life balance – and as a result, customers are expecting more.
Eastern Creek Quarter (ECQ Social) is envisioned to be a community gathering place for locals and their families to eat, meet and play. With a view of the parklands, it’s a mix of indoor and open-air casual dining, offering a variety of international food flavours for the multicultural community of the Eastern Creek suburb.
Integrating dining and entertainment to create a meeting place for the multicultural community of Eastern Creek is what ECQ Social is all about. It represents the project’s planning concept of “convergence of different cultures” and “embracing the existing parklands”, which were adopted to ensure that the physical planning and operation produce a novel offering to its users.
With an array of different operators proposed from across the globe, the design called for an eye-catching and vivacious atmosphere in the adjacent seating to complement the variety of hawker gateways. Through large operable windows and roller shutters, visible food theatre lures diners with smells of pho, sizzling cevapcici and freshly baked goods.
How i2C Architects has put the community experience philosophy into action
- Eastern Creek Quarter opened in 2020, an innovative retail precinct designed as a community hub with a ‘revolving dining precinct’. New-to-market operators can seamlessly “pop-up” for 6 months and focus on what they know best – food. Successful operators can then convert to a permanent lease in a larger space.
- Having that local element was really important to our client (Frasers Property Australia), as it makes the whole centre feel very authentic to the community. We wanted to make sure that we were creating a space that people would want to come and spend time in outside of the retail transaction.
- To support local businesses and cement the centre in the community, the offering was designed to give opportunities to local businesses and create a sense of community ownership in the precinct.
Successful retail spaces need to be more than places to shop if they are to succeed in this new normal. By taking inspiration from the community, creating spaces for local businesses to thrive, and focussing on authenticity, retail spaces can become more than amenities – they can become the heart of a community.