QIC approached us at the start of 2016 to undergo an upgrade to the amenities across all four levels of Westpoint Shopping Centre – 10 in total.
They wanted to push the boundaries of the design to really create an amazing experience for their customers.
The amenities vary in size and layout on each level, so they would all come with their own advantages and challenges. Ultimately the goal was to have the design be consistent throughout the whole centre with a few special features in the large hero blocks.
i2C wanted to create a design that had a high level of finish, that not only looked great, but also had durability to withstand a retail shopping centre environment. Careful consideration was taken with every material selection, right down to the finishing and trims.
The concept for the male and female amenities was intended to be classic and timeless with a bit of unexpected through the features and details. The intention was to represent Blacktown with its rich and multicultural heritage in some way, so historical images from the area were incorporated into the design.
The Parent’s Room was a key focus throughout the design process. This space was critical in the planning of the amenities as it’s such an important part of the centre for parents. It’s more than somewhere to change a nappy – it’s a place for children to re-energise and parent’s to take a break; a place that meets all its functional requirements and most importantly a place that feels inviting and comfortable, like an extension of your home. It was also important to the Client and i2C that the Parent’s Room was accessible. Extra care was taken working with Access consultants to ensure all criteria were met to allow any individual to use the space – everything from reach-ability, to lighting levels, to circulation space.
QIC set the benchmark for Changing Places facilities within their other asset at Eastland Shopping Centre, so this was another feature they felt very passionate about implementing in the design. i2C took it a step further by including finishes and details within the space to make it feel as special as the rest of the design. Often these facilities are least considered in design due to their extensive operational requirements. i2C believe they should be celebrated just as much.
Several design features were highly bespoke, requiring specialty detailing that had no precedent to follow. In order to better develop these items, we created scale models allowing us to truly understand how these features would be constructed. This level of bespoke design required a real team effort between the builder, joiners, services consultants, i2C and various stakeholders at QIC to bring the design to life.
Collaboration was key. Once the design was signed off, we established weekly meetings throughout the documentation and construction phases to ensure the program ran smoothly.
All parties (client, operations team, builder, consultants) were transparent and honest about expectations, deadlines and challenges. By keeping everyone involved and up to date on progress, the team were able to mitigate issues when they arose as quickly and efficiently as possible while always maintaining the integrity of the design.
QIC were amazing to work with. They were always open to ideas and really wanted to push the boundaries of design to create better spaces for their people. Always being open to new ideas and encouraging the Project Team to rethink the stereotype of mall amenities. The outcome was exactly as the entire team had envisioned. It was a true ‘i2C’ project with it moving from ‘inspiration to completion in a seamless transition to create a series of spaces that are highly functional and beautifully crafted.
Builder: Construction Control
Location: Blacktown, NSW
Terri Anne Baisley