With the recent completion of the Sage Hotel, Ringwood, QIC has fnished its
radical overhaul of the 1960s Eastland Shopping Centre. Located in a suburban
fringe of Melbourne, Australia, the new mall is the product of an unusual part-
nership between three design practices in London: ACME, Universal Design
Studio and Sofroom. QIC commissioned Seventh Wave to appoint these three
studios and oversee the project which spanned half the globe.
Architects ACME designed the new hotel, as well as creating a town square, a
sculptural entrance to the mall (the Shard), a library and civic centre, the David
Jones department store, and a number of multi-storey car parks. Universal
Design Studio were responsible for the interior design of the refurbished central
mall, as well as the smaller link malls. Sofroom designed a large glazed roofight
that links the existing part of Eastland with the new Town Square.
Te new town square (or piazza) inverts the original inward-facing 60s master-
plan and ofers the area a civic focus. Shoppers are lured outside of the interior
mall into the daylight and a new sequence of spaces, forming a new public heart
for Ringwood and Maroondah. Eastland is the frst in a series of major trans-
formations of shopping centres by QIC, acting as a test case to demonstrate the
ways in which commercial and civic spaces can coexist happily and form real
public facilities for the local community.
Rising out of the centre of the square, the Shard provides access into and out of
the mall, topped with an undulating roof, which soars over a transparent glass
base. Next to this, a new Library replaces the smaller facility demolished in 2015,
forming a civic landmark for the entire development.
Conceived as a shaded box of books and digital information, the library’s more
solid upper section appears to foat above a glass box beneath that houses public
functions including a café, art gallery and citizen advice centre.
Te 120-room hotel is wrapped in a fritted glass wall that gives the impression
of a pleated white curtain falling gently across the six foors contained within.
At night, fltered waves of light shine out from the bedrooms, turning the entire
glass box into a lantern that glows within the development. Te hotel sits atop a
car park that is surrounded by an ever-changing pattern of alternating concrete
fns, creating a cinematic sensation of movement for drivers traveling past the
building at speed.