Myer and Emporium, VIC


Myer Melbourne and Emporium, Melbourne, Victoria

Feasibility Masterplanning by James Woodburn

Myer Bourke Street store (Base building): NH Architects
Emporium: The Buchan Group in association with Japanese Design firm Wonderwall


These projects occupied the former Myer Bourke and Lonsdale Street sites in the heart of Melbourne’s retail district. The objectives were to create a world beating Myer Department store on the Bourke Street site and a state of the art, multi-level shopping centre on the Lonsdale Street site, all interconnected with adjacent retail via bridges and tunnels.


Initially, the task was to develop a project design and feasibility model which made the purchase of the sites viable. James Woodburn produced the schematic drawings which generated the initial feasibilities.

Retention of a substantial part of the existing Bourke Street store structure and continuity of trading for Myer were two major challenges. James Woodburn worked with the project management team to resolve a staging methodology to achieve this. James then worked with the development team on the refinement of the schematic plans and feasibility.

Success Factors

The key to the success of these projects will be the ant track connections through the city. Traversing the city, north/south through this retail precinct is a long held Melbourne tradition, and the objective, particularly in the Emporium was to promote and improve the flows, not just at ground but at many levels. Allied to this aim was the necessity to provide effective vertical circulation for customers to access the upper levels of the project in a logical and convenient manner.

One critical design provision, essential to the ultimate success of the project was the inbuilt flexibility of the tenancy layout which had to adapt to the late introduction of multi-level stores and a new cross mall as well as many changes in precincting as leasing progressed.