In 2007, NH Architecture, with its client Colonial First State Global Asset Management, won the commission to rejuvenate Myer’s flagship Bourke Street store.
The concept for the redevelopment was driven by bold ideas including increased floor area; an upgrade setting new standards in department store design, as well as environmentally sustainable initiatives and an architectural achievement contributing to Melbourne’s design accomplishments.
The most striking emblem of Myer’s new face to the city is the faceted golden roof. It defines a new upper level event space – a destination within a destination. It will be a hub of calendar events: launches, shows, exhibitions, and dining.
The crystalline form of the pavilion roof has been architecturally sculpted with gold metal and glass to choreograph certain city views from within the space and to bring the cityscape of Melbourne into the heart of the store.
The fifth elevation is an iconic architectural spectacle that can be admired from the surrounding towers and buildings. Overhanging Little Bourke Street, it is also visible at street level.
The Little Bourke Street façade has been completely rebuilt as a contemporary counterpoint to the southern façade. The distinctive harlequin pattern across the façade is a geometric interpretation of the Art Deco motifs found in the old store.
The rooftop space is accessed via a dramatic six level atrium. This inclined and tapering atrium is first visible from the centre of the store’s ground floor. The eye is led upwards through a visually and spatially dynamic volume to a large skylight bringing daylight into the depths of the store.
Vertically stacked escalators funnel a continuous flow of customers, through forming a kinetic connection between each atrium level.
The interior panelling mirrors the decorative motif of the façade. The harlequin pattern is an embodiment of the vibrant character of the retail world and the tradition of showcase department store buildings.
The heritage restoration of the façade has reopened all the upper-level windows, to allow the inner life of the store to be revealed to the city. From below, the transparent street canopy ensures an uninterrupted view of the façade.
The project was also an opportunity to restore the significant heritage components of the original store including the 1920s Art Deco façade on the Bourke Street Mall and the famous Mural Hall.