North Sydney’s Greenwood Plaza has launched its new refurbishment, with Crone Partners identifying a number of key upgrades that have helped recreate a mall that offers visitors a chance to ‘escape the everyday’.

Utilising a number of existing large atriums to maximise natural lighting, the shopping centre revamp is driven by the concept of bringing the outdoor nature of Greenwood into the centre.

Consisting of seven major zones, the Plaza’s busy nature called for an aesthetic that would tie up the linear spaces in a seamless rhythm.

The mall’s high rate of energy consumption and use of dated technology to power its lighting also influenced the redesign.

To combat both problems, Crone Partners introduced new respite seating, ceiling treatments and lighting designs as the main upgrades for the mall.

Working with Philips Lighting, economical and energy efficient LED fittings were installed to achieve Energy Saving Certificates for the Plaza. As a result of this change, Greenwood Plaza has saved 26,405 kilowatt hours, with its LUX levels improving greatly.

The lighting upgrade has also ensured that light is more evenly distributed, unifying the different zones in the plaza. For the upper floors, this seamless transition between areas is boosted by an artificial atrium light similar to the existing atriums at the centre.

According to the architects, the lighting design maximised the use of the voids to connect and extend the space. Futuristic lights in the form of Barrisol membranes are located at key entries to the mall, developed to highlight the main entrances to the concourse level.

A Barrisol membrane was installed to the central node, with branch shapes casting shadows unto the stretched installation. Termed the ‘birds nest’, the lighting here is connected to a computer system, which allows the lights to change colours or work through a programmed loop of colours.

This innovative solution allows the plaza to cater to particular seasons, and provide varying levels of light as required.

While lighting design played a part in unifying the seven major zones, design elements such as a series of timber fins and engineered wood particle board spanning the width of the mall also cohesively create well-connected zones accentuating the retail shop fronts.

This is enhanced by the new ceilings, which feature a central spine made of plywood louvers that weave through the mall, tying together either ends of Greenwood Plaza.

Here, the ridge line of the vertical louvers are constantly changing, creating the idea of movement and reflecting the daily movements of commuters from North Sydney Station through the concourse levels.

While the existing ceiling types were varied and confusing for consumers, the new timber fins translated the vision of uniformity into a reality by delivering linear, direct zones. This design will work to improve human traffic flow, guiding people through the Plaza in a considered but engaging way.

Located on the Pacific Highway at North Sydney, Greenwood Plaza is owned by Mirvac Property Trust and Eureka Funds Management, and boasts a high pedestrian traffic of 18.7 million per annum.