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Co-Op Surfection Melbourne Central

The second store of the new hybrid surf/fashion brand, designed by BKH, packs a punch in Melbourne Central. Nicky Lobo reports.

Co-Op Surfection Melbourne Central


February 16th, 2012

The first store opened with a bang on Manly Corso in October 2011 and Co-Op Surfection in Melbourne Central quickly followed suit in November. Although the design language, finishes and overall feel are the same, there is definitely a different set of design challenges in the two projects.

Where Sydney’s store is a heritage building fronting an open promenade on an iconic beach strip, Melbourne’s is within the mass retail environment of a shopping centre. So the results are in a way even more impressive, presenting an air of cool, yet flexible and unobtrusive enough for the product to take centre stage.



As well as the contrasting retail environments, the Manly store is double-height while the Melbourne store is over a single floor with low ceilings. It still achieves a sense of spaciousness though. “Melbourne has a curvature between the wall and the ceiling but it’s not a huge vault [like Sydney],” admits Ian Halliday, Director, Burley Katon Halliday (BKH), who led the project.

It’s still a successful interpretation of the concept, with design elements, finishes and quirky styling carried through both stores. Halliday notes, “the slatted timber, the chequered tile in some version, the bronzey coloured steelwork, the brick [are] elements that give it its tonal language; it’s quite warm.”



Creative Director of Board Sports Retail Group, Lotte Barnes, adds, “In terms of brands, the Melbourne store features slightly more niche surf brands and less fashion brands than Sydney. However there is still very much that juxtaposed romance component in terms of fashion/niche surf and urban wear mixture.”


Halliday believes, “Retail in Australia is a pretty difficult place. Whatever you can do to hold the customer, by keeping them amused, is good.”

Consider us amused.


Check out the Co-Op Surfection Manly store in Indesign #49, out in May.

Photography: Lotte Barnes


Co-Op Surfection

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