Designing Westfield Coomera
Opening late 2018, the exciting new Westfield Coomera development has been designed to reflect the active, social and coastal lifestyle of the community. We sat down with Sally McBean, Studio Creative Lead Interiors for Westfield Australia & New Zealand to share with the community what experiences they can expect from this brand-new lifestyle destination.
Westfield: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Westfield.
Sally McBean: I learnt to draw by hand, back in the day, and by not using computers you had to rely so much more on your imagination. As a result, I have developed a very good visual memory and have a filing system in my brain that pulls out images and knows how to mix concepts together to create new ideas. I have encouraged my team to draw by hand as putting pen to paper activates a different part of your brain that has access to your creativity and helps you develop ideas visually. We are now a team of 23 interior designers and we work on everything from redevelopments, ambience upgrades and greenfield sites like Coomera across Australia and New Zealand.
W: What’s exciting about these projects?
SM: Every project is different. Every asset has its own personality that reflects its unique customer demographic and location, so our role is to find and develop this personality, creating a visual experience that will relate to the unique community the centre serves. One centre can be quite glamorous and sparkly, another may be fresh, modern and light-hearted, another layered, diverse and multicultural. Finding and developing these differences is one of the pleasures of our roles.
W: Westfield Coomera is the first greenfield site in over 10 years – how does this excite and influence your design for the centre?
SM: It’s a very unique experience. Westfield Coomera really is a neighbourhood centre, it’s very family-oriented. There are lots of outdoor green spaces, reflecting the lifestyle of the local community. The spaces promote the healthy and active lifestyle of the community.
W: What can customers expect when experiencing Westfield Coomera?
SM: Westfield Coomera is a reflection of the lifestyle of the community – it’s fresh, it’s family-oriented, it’s grounded and it’s relaxing. The look and feel is natural, with stone floors; the finishes give ode to the coast. The overall feeling is homely, a place to spend time with friends and family.
W: What is your favourite part of the Westfield Coomera design?
SM: Integrating the indoors with the outdoors. The external spaces make it feel leisurely, almost like a holiday. It’s eclectic yet simple, humble and coastal.
W: Where do you draw your inspiration from when creating liveable spaces?
SM: We always refer to the community surrounding the space, tapping into the heart of the community and their lifestyle. We are also obsessed with using blogs, Pinterest and Instagram as sources of inspiration and information. It’s also important to spend the time going to art galleries and the theatre; there is information and inspiration everywhere. As a designer, you have your own personal style and aesthetic. The important thing is knowing what will work and what will be beautiful, even if it isn’t necessarily your personal aesthetic.
Westfield Coomera opens late 2018 with 140 new stores, including Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, Target and Event Cinemas, all to open alongside a curated selection of fashion, beauty and lifestyle retailers. And it doesn’t stop there – the lifestyle destination will deliver a welcoming and convenient fresh food market space, as well as a lively dual-level outdoor dining and entertainment precinct. Stay connected at westfield.com.au/coomera.