A new shopping centre in Port Macquarie aims to deliver an immersive shopping experience for today’s discerning customers by providing shopping opportunities, variety and entertainment in an accessible, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally-conscious package.

Designed by leading Australian architectural firm Buchan for developer Lewis Land Group, the Sovereign Hills Town Centre is set midway between Port Macquarie’s coastline and hinterland, and has been planned as a 25,000-square-metre shopping centre offering experiential retail to the modern customer without sacrificing the connection to its natural surroundings. The centre strives to meet the demands of an increasingly savvy regional consumer base that seeks a blend of quality retail and social connection.

Sovereign Hill Town CentreImage credit: Buchan Group

Stage 1 of the retail project will begin as a 5,200-square-metre neighbourhood shopping centre by end 2019 and then grow over time. This phase will include a full line supermarket, chemist, café/restaurant, specialist retailers and service providers. Stage 2 will bring a community centre, entertainment precinct, commercial offices and additional retail spaces.

Buchan provided the architectural services, interior design of public spaces, centre graphics and signage for the Sovereign Hills Town Centre project. Managing principal of Buchan’s Gold Coast studio Brett Saville says the design pays homage to the natural beauty and idyllic climate of the Port Macquarie region. 

“Port Macquarie is an expanding coastal city, with Sovereign Hills Town Centre and the surrounding Sovereign Hills master planned community very much the focal point of this expansion.

“Our design for Stage 1 of the Town Centre maximises the opportunities that the ideal climate of Port Macquarie offers, but in addition to that also draws on the rich traditions of agricultural and timber industries of the Port Macquarie hinterland.

“The timbers used have all been locally sourced and combine with the rest of the materials palette to create a design solution that sits comfortably within its environment and creates a destination that meets the needs of the local customers.”

Incorporating biophilic design principles and sustainability measures was important to the development’s modern appeal, according to Lewis Land Group head of development Michael Long. Features such as electric car charging stations, reclaimed water usage and roof-mounted solar panels have been added to reduce the shopping centre’s energy footprint and operating costs, and enhance sustainability.