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26.09.22 All media
Meridian Village: a new model for neighbourhood hubs

An exciting, mixed-use precinct that will become the heart of Clyde North in Melbourne’s south-eastern growth corridor is an ‘anti-mall’ that turns the traditional shopping centre inside out.

Designed by architecture practice Buchan, Meridian Village provides retail, commercial and entertainment tenancies and is located between existing industrial and residential areas. Buchan Principal, Grant Withers, says Meridian Village creates a new type of neighbourhood hub.

“Meridian Village centres on a generous public piazza that spills out into the surrounding parklands and precinct,” says Withers. “It’s the opposite of an enclosed, air-conditioned retail centre.”

Taking cues from vibrant, inner-city Melbourne, the design has a distinctly Clyde North feel that reflects the area’s landscape and vernacular architecture and is guided by best-practice social and sustainability goals.

“The sweeping saw-tooth roof that covers the piazza is a nod to the agricultural sheds that are part of the suburb’s heritage, and provides passive ventilation,” Withers says. “The piazza will be used day and night, and can host community-centred activities, such as markets, performances and workshops.”

On the upper levels, childcare, medical, co-working space and a community hub encourage living and working within the precinct and support the retail and food-and-beverage at ground level.

Solar panels and water tanks are integrated, and extensive planting will reduce the heat island effect and provide connection to nature. With ample car and bike parking, the precinct is walkable, accessible and easily navigable, and the tenant/place mix offers passive surveillance around the clock for safety.

The project has been embraced by the local council and aligns with the City of Casey’s recently adopted Casey Design Excellence Program.

Meridian Village is the culmination of a long-held vision for the developer, Brown Property Group, who launched the surrounding Meridian residential estate a decade ago. Brown Property Group COO, Ryan Pritchard, says, “In our original visioning, we used the principles of the 20-minute neighbourhood, and this is one of the final pieces. Based on feedback from over 560 residents, we’ve ended up with something that’s very different from an off-the-shelf solution.”

Withers says the centre offers a new model for neighbourhood hubs in greater Melbourne’s growth areas. “Meridian Village will establish a strong identity for the Clyde North community and become a local landmark that will support social cohesion as well as meeting daily needs.”

Project design team
Grant Withers, Jarrod Argent, Isabella Etna, Kate Donaldson, Rachel Dash, Dong Uong, Bruce Shaw, Christine Chen