Inside Emporium Melbourne: The Retail Oasis


Built on the site of the old Myer Emporium on Lonsdale Street between Swanston and Elizabeth streets, the $1.6 billion, seven-level Emporium Melbourne is the latest retail oasis in Melbourne’s CBD.

The development is a joint venture between Colonial First State and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund,GIC.

Delivered by Grocon and designed by The Buchan Group, Emporium Melbourne is the largest retail development for the city since 1911.

The transformation of the old Myer CBD Centre allows the Emporium shopping centre space to house 225 fashion and food brands. Emporium Melbourne stores include Melbourne designers Scanlan Theodore, Gorman, Mr Simple, Arthur Galan, Godwin Charli and Autonomy.

The project embraces world-class architecture and construction finesse in order to preserve and restore the buildings heritage-listed façade.

With its launch, five of Melbourne’s major retail spaces are connected and almost 2000 shops can be accessed under one roof to Melbourne Central, Myer Melbourne and to David Jones via pedestrian bridges and tunnels.

Comprising more than 48,000 square metres of retail space, the Emporium Melbourne had its official opening earlier this month.


Grand opening

In April, 170 of the centre’s 225 stores began trading, with the remaining store openings staggered until its grand opening in August.

Australian director Baz Luhrmann

was commissioned to open the site in a ritzy glamorous affair in August in which 1,500 attendees were present.

Not known for restraint, Mr Luhrmann brought his trademark flair to the event with a giant tennis ball to represent the Australian Open, a pink and purple horse to represent the spring racing carnival and other features of the launch represented links to Melbourne.

With construction completed this year, the Emporium Shopping Centre, Melbourne was one of the largest retail construction projects underway across Australia.


The Buchan Group

was commissioned and was responsible for Architecture, Retail Planning, Integration of Interior Designs.

The design provides a great balance between retention of heritage facades and new built form, with the façade of the original 1911 Lonsdale Street building remaining in place.

It creates modern retail frontages at the eastern end of the development that respect the urban principles of building to the street, and allows a showcasing of major new tenants.

The use of laneways was also pivotal. Melbourne has a history of retail arcades and laneways.

The Emporium Shopping Centre development delivers pedestrian connections through a number of arcades that were previously service lanes that did not connect through to Lonsdale Street.

It also widened Caledonian Lane and introduced new service tunnels below Lt Bourke St to facilitate a consolidated delivery and loading arrangements for almost a whole city block.

Inside, striking ribs of dark timber line each level’s underside, and bluestone floors peek out from protective plywood. Graceful walkways span overhead, adorned with downlights and geometric patterns.

Inside Emporium Shopping Centre, Melbourne


Constructed by Grocon in just under three years, Australia’s leading privately owned building company, the Emporium shopping centre was progressively constructed from the basement up, rising to five-storeys.

The redevelopment involved finding the balance of urban renewal and heritage with modern retail, meticulously combining old with new.

The previous form of the building involved a mix of inconsistent floor levels pieced together over 100 years, proving unsuitable for retail development

75 years after the establishment of the Myer Emporium on Lonsdale Street, Emporium Melbourne once again occupies its position as the city’s premier retailer centre, committed to delivering a world class retail experience effortlessly integrating a fusion of fashion, culture, food and art.

Construction on the Emporium project began in 2012.

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