The other day John and I drove by Stafford City. John wondered whether the branding had changed. I couldn’t be sure, but I thought this centre had always been called Stafford City. Then it occurred to me that many shopping centres make references to urban forms that do not reflect the design or experience the centre. As we rattled through some of the centres we knew – Lutwyche Village, Stafford City, Garden City, Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown, Robina Town Centre, Redbank Plaza – we realised that these naming conventions represented an urban form which was the antithesis of the big box form and land use of the shopping centre. While some of those centre names have changed, this was possibly residue of the original intent of the shopping centre to create a kind of contained urban agglomeration in the suburban field. Other names are of course more realistic: Chermside, for example, was originally known as Chermside Drive In Shopping Centre (as a kind of celebration of the emergent car dependent suburb), and has been rebranded as a Westfield.
TALK | Naming the Shopping Centre
Posted on 20/01/2014