Awinning design from Down Under is gaining global attention for focusing on sustainability’s role in the design of a shopping destination of the future. After eceiving top honors in the Brickworks Living
Building Challenge, the billabong-themed concept might
make the leap to reality.
The Australian-born competition is the first conceptual
design challenge for the Living Building program that involves
a retail center, The Brickworks in suburban Melbourne. The
challenge sought concepts for a prefabricated shopping center
model that’s “screwed, not glued” together.
The contest was organized by the Living Future Institute of
Australia, a local arm of the Seattle-based International Living
Future Institute, in partnership with Brickworks site owner
Frasers Property Australia. More than 40 organizations and
100 people contributed submissions, vying for awards totaling
over $30,000. Cash awards were given to three professional
and three student entries.
Genius loci inspiration
Backers of the Brickworks Living Building Challenge are not
only seeking to raise the bar on sustainability standards. They
want to raise the roof, as well. “Frasers Property is aspiring not
only to create the world’s most sustainable retail center, but a
project that actually generates a net-positive, regenerate impact
on the environment,” says Peri Macdonald, general manager of
retail for Frasers Property Australia.
The winning entry, “The Difference is Living,” is the work
of a multidisciplinary team that includes architects, engineers,
scientists, and food precinct planners. The concept is inspired
by the genius loci of the site and its rich tapestry of indigenous,
agricultural, and industrial overlays sewn together through
strong topography and an innate relationship with water.
Adhering to a paradigm of doing less harm, the submission’s
billabong idea impressed judges.
Stephen Choi, vice chair of the Living Future Institute
of Australia, notes that the entry is strongly aligned with
to the CHALLENGE