Melbourne Central Lower Ground

Melbourne Central Lower Ground

A light touch refurbishment of the lower ground level of the Melbourne Central arcades.

Traditional Land Owners: Wurundjeri People
Builder: Built
Photography: Derek Swalwell


2016 IDEA Interior Design Excellence Awards: Winner - Retail

Our first piece of work at Melbourne Central was a light touch refurbishment of the lower ground level of the arcades.  There is a specific and particular character to the lower ground which is distinct from the upper levels.  There is a subway feel to the lower ground, a strong sense of the connection to the city loop trains – it is youthful, a bit chaotic, full of movement, people rushing for the train or for lunch or a snack.  We wanted to reflect the character of the lower ground – to make it youthful and fun.  The particular challenge was to achieve playful and vibrant interiors which would be simultaneously extremely durable.   Furniture is made from concrete, stone and steel, but becomes playful by deploying these materials in eccentric shapes and contrasting the different coloured stones in super-graphics.  The chaos and activity of the lower ground is amplifed by these elements and also through super-graphic floors, saturated colour (which enlivens the spaces but also assists with way-finding) neon, video art and unexpected ‘street’ elements, as in an array of convex mirrors on the ceiling.