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    Bringing the city into the suburbs via mixed-use developments

    Branko Miletic

    According to Rothelowman principal Stuart Marsland, architects are finding innovative ways to offer new building typologies as town planners grapple with multiple market factors that are influencing the push to provide all the convenience and connectivity of city living in a suburban context. 

    The resulting mixed-use developments, says Marsland, which include hospitality, hotel, commercial and residential offerings “are being driven by market conditions including local and state governments’ push towards sustainable, low-transit living; developers’ desire to sell large portions of projects simultaneously; and a thirst by the public for increased liveability as seen through the rise of conveniences such as UberEats and online shopping”.

    “While a number of mixed-use developments, such as QT Melbourne - which combines residential apartment living with a high-end hotel - are nothing new, the arrival of large developments of this genre in the suburbs is certainly a progression worth noting,” he says.

    These buildings require highly complex designs that meet local agendas for intensified land use while improving user liveability by seamlessly handling multiple functions at a time. 

    “When it comes to multitasking buildings, our main starting point is how best to integrate or separate uses,” says Marsland.

    “While it might seem obvious to take a hotel or shopping centre and add apartments on top, these mixed-used projects take a high level of complex logistical planning, with an eye for what makes a space commercially viable, user-friendly and highly liveable in a climate where convenience and connectivity are expected.”

    This is also the view of Rhys Quick from Urbis, who says that successful mixed-use developments “are a complex combination of economic and market drivers, design and masterplanning principles, public issues including nearby infrastructure and local policy, as well as physical factors”

    “More mixed-use opportunities are emerging, but detailed site selection and development planning is critical,” says Quick.

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