A first in Australia, the redevelopment of Casuarina Square is a new take on the traditional retail design which is experimental, unique, and collaborative in its approach. Drawing inspiration from the people of the Northern Territory, the project incorporated earthy Territorian colours, textures and native plants to involve and engage with the community.

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Project Name: Casuarina Shopping Centre
Studio Name: Hames Sharley
Location: Darwin, Australia
Photography: Shaana McNaught
Completion date: 2020

Casuarina Shopping Centre by Hames Sharley - Sheet1
Open Restaurant ©Shaana McNaught

The intent was to create a place for the Darwin community to connect, to encourage its economic growth and the socio-cultural environment through a convenient, comfortable, and distinctly unique design. The refurbishment of key spaces was executed in several stages to aesthetically enhance and activate spaces throughout the centre. This was implemented over a two-year period to maintain both the building operation and movement of people throughout.

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Creating the overall perception of a charming European town, the design concept of the nodal upgrades was based on a series of simple streets, which connect to the plaza. This activation demonstrates the client’s commitment in delivering a premium retail experience and to welcome a diverse community.

Casuarina Shopping Centre by Hames Sharley - Sheet2
Bathroom ©Shaana McNaught

The re-activation and re-imagination of the centre elevates this ever-evolving retail experience through four newly activated hubs that are responsive to the needs and aspirations of the community. Providing more comfort and convenience in a place designed for leisure, work and enjoyment, these activated spaces also work to enhance customer perception of the centre and increase patronage.

The Resort Node seating and water features provide a luxurious space to pause and enjoy the centre, which is tropical, vibrant and captivating and works to bring light into space. The Family Haven includes various interactive educational elements and is a flexible and dynamic space with a variety of options to sit, rest and recharge with the entire family.

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Casuarina Shopping Centre by Hames Sharley - Sheet3
Food court ©Shaana McNaught

Incorporating a familiar and nostalgic design approach, the space is simple, clean and embodies the Australian modern home. The Coles and Recreation nodes provide small, cool and contemporary havens for people to meander and relax.

The green and contemporary feel of the nodes is extended into amenity spaces, using overhead planters and artificial plants. Victoria

Ash timber, the main feature in the nodes, features through the main corridors of the amenities. To encourage the public towards the entrance of the centre a combination of materials was used to present a luxurious design.

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These architectural details include elevated platforms, timber, stone look tiled board walkways and precision situated lighting.

Each entry space takes on its own personality, highlighting unique materials and patterns which feature within the internal spaces.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022