The Lanes Town Centre - Queensland, Australia

170616_The Lanes Main Entrance
CEA_The Lanes_02
170616_CEA_The Lanes Modules

The Lanes Retail Town Centre Competition [Queensland - Australia]

Contreras Earl Architecture received Second Place in this competition to design a new Retail Town Centre in Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia. The total site area for the Retail and Entertainment precinct is approximately 70,000 sqm with the precinct offering 17,000sqm of new retail spaces, food & beverage areas as well as a boutique cinema complex and 840 on-site carparks. Exhibition spaces are dispersed around the precinct connecting into the lakeside sculpture walk and outdoor amphitheatre.

Located at the entrance of the site, the Fresh Food Market Hall is an important public face for The Lanes Retail Precinct. The high level roof provides solidity and a sense of arrival to the precinct, providing shelter from the sun and allowing cross ventilation for customers interacting with the sensorial delights on display with the small market vendors.

Further into the precinct the Main Square connects with the Market Hall to form an intrinsic cultural heart where regular performances take place, both planned and impromptu. The Main Square is well connected to all thoroughfares across the precinct ensuring that it is always highly active. Restaurants, bistros and bars surround the Square at the ground level and the spectacle of alfresco dining activates the periphery of the central space.

In many ways the narrowest of passageways is one of the most important thoroughfares for the creative mix and vibrancy of the precinct. An eclectic mix of tenancies and the diverse bohemian character of the narrow laneways makes it particularly attractive to local small businesses and young start-ups. At The Lanes Precinct the smallest lane is never seen as a back alley but is activated by Coffee Walls, Tea Bars, Dumpling Stops, Tapas and Small Bars running a dense activity zone from one side of the site to the other.

Moving away from conventional modules typically defined by a slab and four columns, we decided to work with a structural system that could provide more variety and dynamic spaces. Implementing the most natural form of structure- an arch, three different module typologies were created providing sufficient variety to define the entire Lanes Masterplan.


Client: Private             

Year: 2017

Status: Competition Second Place 

Core team: Rafael Contreras, Monica Earl, Yang Xiao