Design and Planning

A shift from cookie-cutter retail towards biophilic design.

Where does the planning process start when you decide to embark on something that has never been attempted in retail before? From engaging with planning authorities to bringing architects and designers along for the journey, Burwood Brickworks has broken new ground.


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    The architecture of Burwood Brickworks pays homage to Melbourne's market history.

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    The concept for Burwood Brickworks fulfills three core feasibility objectives; environmental, social and financial sustainability.

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    At every turn, Burwood Brickworks tells a story about where its come from and where its aiming to go.


Ideas from ideas

When attempting something that’s never been done before, where do you start? You seek ideas. In 2016, Frasers Property Australia partnered with the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA) to launch the Brickworks Living Building Challenge® design competition.

The competition invited designers, professionals, environmental experts, students across all levels and anyone interested in a cleaner, regenerative future to submit their ideas and help re-imagine what’s possible when it comes to retail centre design. To get everyone thinking outside traditional cookie-cutter retail, primary school children were even invited to participate, with the hope that young minds might unlock some truly innovative thinking.  

Dozens of design, architecture and sustainability professionals threw their hat in the ring for the competition from across Australia and around the globe including submissions received from Japan, China, Ecuador and the UK. 

The winning submission, called The Difference is Living, was a collaboration between dwp|suters, Aurecon, CJ Arms, reedbed technology, Eco Harvest, Biomimicry Australia, Future Food and Watpac. The winning design featured a pre-fabricated shopping centre that could be disassembled and re-assembled elsewhere, re-defining the typical life cycle of a shopping centre.

While it was never definite that the winning design would be the final centre created at Burwood Brickworks, the team took some invaluable cues from this and other entries, and the competition provided new clarity to the Frasers Property team about the ethos behind the Living Building Challenge® and what it could mean for the company, and the project, should they commit to it. 

It is remarkable now to see how many ideas offered by young student Olivia Murley, from Antonio Park Primary School, are reflected in the building we see today. Ideas such as including skylights, solar panels on the roof, underground water tanks, a community herb and vegetable garden and greater accessibility to public transport. 


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