Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens designed by Landini Associates won the Retail Design award at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards.
This project is designed to be more than just a supermarket – it is also a place where people meet. Multiple eating places surrounded by the theatre of food production deliver a place in which to experiment, learn, meet, eat and fall in love. The visual scale and brutality of the building are referenced, and a very urban palette of materials is used to create theatre, energy and colour. The building’s history is also celebrated imaginatively in a living, vibrant and integrated way. This was achieved by making the history a dynamic part of the design, by exposing the ghosts of walls past, commissioning a twelve-by-twelve-metre leaf sculpture of old stadium chairs and reusing old stadium lighting and murals. The resulting visual environment is very distinctive, differing from the bland generic environment of many North American supermarkets. It is designed to make the food and the people making the food the heroes.
This category included many projects concerned with food retailing, signalling a resurgence of interest in food and design, particularly within food courts. The awarded and commended projects dignify the activity of shopping across all demographics. The awarded project, Maple Leaf Gardens market by Landini Associates, is an interior of complexity and richness; a market without the mess. The food produce on offer is the hero of the space and enables customers to communicate with food providers and producers, which is an essential part of an intelligent and meaningful shopping experience. Signage, colour and texture are used with control and deliberate intent. This is a massive, beautiful marketplace. The designers are to be congratulated on what they have achieved in North America and are encouraged to undertake similar projects in Australia.