Myer Bourke Street Redevelopment / NH Architecture

© John Gollings

Architect: NH Architecture
Location: 314 – 336 Bourke Street, , Australia
Completed: December 2010
Project Value: AUS$225 million
Gross Floor Area: 47,000 sqm
Client: Colonial First State Global Asset Management
Photographs: John Gollings, Dianna Snape


© Dianna Snape

The Myer city store has long held a position as a civic elder to the public life of Melbourne. Centrally located in the Bourke Street Mall and adjacent to Melbourne’s historic GPO, the store has witnessed a century of the city’s evolution and has played host to many of its most memorable rituals and festivals, becoming an iconic symbol of Melbourne. However after years of retail service the city store could no longer compete as an internationally recognized department store in the rapidly evolving and sophisticated consumer market. In 2007 , with its client Colonial First State Global Asset Management, won the commission to rejuvenate the storeand return Myer to its place as an admired city landmark and sit alongside internationally renowned stores.

© Dianna Snape

The most striking emblem of Myer’s new face to the city, visible from many surrounding buildings, is its faceted gold roof. The pavilion roof has been architecturally sculpted with gold metal and glass to choreograph certain city views from within and to bring the cityscape of Melbourne into the heart of the store.

© Dianna Snape

The new upper level event space is the culmination of the store’s new retail experience and is accessed via a dramatic eight level atrium. The shopper is first greeted by the inclined and tapering atrium at the centre point of the busy ground floor of the store. From here, the eye is led upward through a visually and spatially dynamic volume to a large diamond skylight bringing daylight into the depths of the store. Meanwhile a busy flow of customers on the vertically stacked escalators play their part in this kinetic connection.

© John Gollings

The project also offered the opportunity to carefully restore the significant heritage features of the original store, including the 1930’s Art Deco façade on the Bourke Street Mall and the famous Mural Hall complete with its major paintings by the artist Napier Waller. The Bourke Street façade had undergone many alterations over the last century most noticeably with the painting-over of the upper level windows and the addition of a dark and sombre street canopy. 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 while a new transparent street canopy ensures an uninterrupted view of the façade from the Bourke Street Mall.

© John Gollings

The Little Bourke Street façade has been completely rebuilt as a contemporary counterpoint to its 1920’s Bourke Street companion. The distinctive harlequin pattern across the façade is a geometric interpretation of the Art Deco motifs found throughout the old store. The façade pattern is further extended into a series of three dimensional display windows designed to allow views into the upper levels of the store from the narrow street below.

© John Gollings

The redevelopment of Myer’s city store represents a vision of a contemporary department store for a new generation of Melbournians and ensures it will continue to be a contributor to the life and times of the city.
Text provided by NH Architecture.

© Dianna Snape

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Myer Bourke Street Redevelopment / NH Architecture" 06 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    what is it with Australian architecture and farking triangles
    just stop it

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Triangles are great.

      The patterning of the original 1920′s facade of this building uses triangles and diamonds extensively.

      And actually, Melbourne is more afflicted with squares and cubes. Every other new building in the CBD is an assembly of cubes. NFK started it, but it really is getting a bit old now, especially when in the hands of less skilled designers…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @John Smith
    Too much CAD fetishism methinks. They seem to be obsessed with extruding polygons and points for the sake of it rather than figuring out how to use the tool to design good buildings.

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