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31 Mar 2019

Designing living centres for the community #Community

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How do you design a new living centre in a greenfield development, when the streets and roads don’t yet exist and the burgeoning community hasn’t quite developed its identity? This was Scentre Group’s design brief for Westfield Coomera - located in one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Our newest centre was delivered in joint venture with QICGRE and successfully opened on October 2018. 

Working closely with town planners and complying with complex authority approvals, our project team embraced this challenge as a rare and exciting opportunity - to listen to the community, build a legacy from the ground up and truly influence the end result.

Over five years, our team engaged extensively with the community to ensure we refined our design to meet the needs of a rapidly growing and changing demographic. As a result, our design plans for Westfield Coomera evolved considerably from beginning to end.

We’ve created an extraordinary place we know people will come to have fun, relax, or simply hang out - with commercial value following naturally.

Key features that evolved through community consultation were our huge focus on landscaping – we hand selected every tree to create the feel of an oasis throughout the centre – and more than 40 per cent of the centre’s footprint is dedicated to dining, leisure and entertainment. The Park is an area with 10-pin bowling, a putt-putt course set in a beer garden style venue with full bar, pizzeria and live music, and strong incorporation of artwork of local artists.

A first-to-market concept, The Backyard has set a new benchmark in integrated outdoor precinct design. The Backyard is designed to be the perfect place for social outings in the great outdoors with a range of ready to use facilities. Our concept for The Backyard was inspired by the simple and traditional notion of a backyard seen through a child’s eyes. The urban oasis is filled with tall trees, native flora, and bright and colourful art sculptures, featuring kids play zones, scooter circuits for all ages, an interactive billabong for water play, suspended hammocks for relaxation, built in BBQs for communal use, picnic tables and more. 

The journey continues. For now, we’ve built the first part of the Coomera Town Centre – stage 1 of the masterplan. We’ve opened approximately 60,000 sqm and we’ve future-proofed the building to take the centre to 140,000 sqm to meet the forecast population growth. We’re building with the next 20 to 30 years of development in mind. Westfield Coomera is a unique living centre, designed as a focal point for the local community to come together and connect with one another.