Winner, People’s Choice Award

Competition: Living Building Design Melbourne, Australia

Competition: Living Building Design

Melbourne, Australia


Buchan’s design concept imagines a shopping centre inspired by Passive House principles.

The design competition challenged participants to create the world’s greenest retail centre in the suburbs of Melbourne.

The foundation of Buchan’s entry brings the community in, through a community centre, a gym, community gardens and a butterfly enclosure. The design considers that the centre as part of a larger development with a residential community. To achieve this we overlaid a traditional retail mall on top to create a centre that serves and connects with the community.

The use of concrete, for the structure and for durability, balances the use of recycled steel and timber, with a lot of ‘kit of parts’ construction elements so it is quick to build and to deconstruct. We put most of the building under a landscaped roof. This also provides a thermal buffer. The landscaping filters water, with elements including bioswales and a small wetland. Everything is about getting water, waste and energy to below zero.

Grün Consulting, Inhabit Group, RushWright Associates and The Space Agency were part of Buchan’s team.


  • Discipline /MP. AR
  • Sector /Retail
  • Region /Australia