i2C is proud to have designed a new shopping centre in Dubbo, tentatively named the Southlakes Shopping Centre. Led by Maas Group Properties, the $25 million development will address the lack of high-quality retail offerings for the expanding population of Dubbo in regional New South Wales.
Between 2021 and 2041, the population of the Dubbo Region is projected to increase by 10,814 people. Designed as a community-centric hub, Southlakes Shopping Centre prioritises catering to the fundamental needs of the Southlakes community, offering essential food and services. The centre tenancies will include a major supermarket, medical centre, fitness gym, pharmacy, food and beverage offerings, bakery, cafe, restaurant, newsagent, barber, hair salon and other community services.
Totalling 7,968 sqm, the Southlakes Shopping Centre faces the intersection of Boundary Road and Stream Avenue, a major crossroad in the new Southlakes masterplanned community, and will become a major landmark for the area. i2C’s design ensures the facade of the shopping centre is highly visible and recognisable and includes important features in placemaking strategies and in wayfinding. The distinctive landscape, vibrant colour palette, and rich cultural heritage of Dubbo serves as the driving force behind the creation of Southlakes Shopping Centre.
The scale of the development is in harmony with the vertical massing of the surrounding Southlakes development. It is unobtrusive yet visually appealing, with the building’s facade and materiality addressing both local context and character. The centre welcomes pedestrians and foot traffic and is set back to achieve vistas and sightlines, all while promoting sustainable and connectivity initiatives through electric vehicle charging bays, bicycle parking, passive irrigation and solar power harvesting.
Careful attention has been given to Dubbo’s climatic conditions, ensuring that visitors experience convenience and comfort. The design brief stipulated the need for both weather-protected outdoor dining and naturally lit interiors. The indoor space is characterised by high ceilings and air-conditioning, creating a voluminous atmosphere. The introduction of clerestory windows strategically placed in common areas, particularly amidst tenancies and near major tenant anchors, ensures an abundance of natural light, fostering an inviting and well-lit interior. Solar panels have been included in the design to take advantage of the roof area that is exposed to the sun and provide renewable energy back to the centre.
For the outdoor dining area, a fully covered roof provides protection from the elements while maintaining an open and visually connected ambience. The food and beverage tenant signage and the central signage seamlessly integrate into the façade, contributing to a cohesive visual appeal. The outdoor space is thoughtfully designed with a series of trapezoidal openings framed by vertical timber-look battens adorned with climbing plants, delicately softening the overall façade that not only frames the surrounding views but also adds an element of visual delight. This deliberate architectural choice enhances the overall dining experience, seamlessly blending shelter, and openness to create a harmonious and inviting atmosphere for patrons. The interplay of form, intricate details, and materiality culminate in a distinctive character for the entire structure.
Adding to the charm, corten steel planters with a rustic aesthetic host a vibrant mix of drought-tolerant plants, creating an engaging and environmentally conscious landscape. The protruding triangular volume, serving as both a canopy and an articulation of the main entrance, emerges as the focal point, introducing a dynamic element that contrasts with the horizontal emphasis of the front façade. This intentional design interplay not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also elevates the architectural identity of the space.
i2C has skillfully shaped Southlakes Shopping Centre into a visionary landmark for the community of Dubbo. With a keen eye on both aesthetics and functionality, the thoughtful integration of design elements reflects a commitment to elevating the overall experience for patrons. A testament to i2C’s dedication to creating spaces that harmonise with their surroundings, this architectural marvel is set to play a pivotal role in the dynamic growth of Dubbo.
Client: Maas Group Properties
Location: Wiradjuri Country | Dubbo