OMA designs another outer Melbourne shopping mall

OMA’s Australian office has designed its second suburban mall for outer-Melbourne, unveiling plans for a $100 million town centre in Sunbury South.

The Dutch firm unveiled its design for the first town centre in Wollert in 2020, having set up a permanent office in Australia following the delivery of the WA Museum Boola Bardip in Perth.

T he Sunbury South project is larger than than the $40 million Wollert precinct, and will be delivered over several stages from 2024, with the first stage to include a supermarket and discount department store, commercial and retail spaces, dining and outdoor amenities, including a pedestrian-friendly environment, urban interfaces, green space, seating, undercover areas and wetlands.

OMA regional director Paul Jones said the overall vision was about prioritizing pedestrians and the public realm to give people reasons to visit beyond just shopping.

“We definitely looked to reinvent the concept of a town centre,” he said. “We’ve consolidated uses around very clear public circulation strategies; rather than spreading uses broadly around the precinct, we’re tightening it up and bringing it closer together, so there’s a better concentration of use, activation and connection for people.

“We’re using good urban principles and planning strategies to bring urban design, architecture and landscape together to deliver a completely different type of outcome – I don’t think there is anything like it.

“The suite of different uses and buildings will be broken-down, instead of being singular and monolithic in their form – they will be humanized, and the connection between inside and outside will be massively different to what people are used.”

Sandhurst Retail and Logistics, which is also the developer the Wollert town centre, says the project will be supported by and will complement the projected population growth in the suburb which is expected to more than double in the next 20 years from 42,494 in 2021 to 86,640 in 2041.

The developer has submitted an urban design framework for Sunbury South to the City of Hume.

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