Mirvac Real Estate Pty Ltd
Rhodes, New South Wales

Mirvac’s brief for Rhodes Shopping Centre was to refurbish the existing food court and create a point of difference at a cost-effective price. The brief requested an inviting space that would appeal to customers and bridge the spatial division of the food court from the mall to create a new precinct for dining. An existing seating dais was removed and replaced with legible circulation paths, on grade seating and clear sightlines to food tenancies. The overarching aspiration was to increase customer comfort and dwell time at the centre.

A legible cruciform circulation system was arranged on the curve to quarter the elliptical space and create pockets of defensible space within the whole. Existing columns were slimmed to the structural essential to reduce visual impact, dark floors offset brightly-coloured furniture and timber and textured finishes were introduced for tactility and warmth.

Prioritising the ceiling has the greatest experiential impact on the space and enabled its transformation. This was achieved despite a limited budget. Ribbons of suspended birch ply diffuse natural light through existing skylights and bridged the bulkhead between mall and food court to unite the two spaces. Daylight from the existing skylight is captured by suspended acrylic features that glow within the space. These features are playfully illuminated by coloured LED lights programmed to mark calendar celebrations.