Praise for Rouse Hill Town Centre


"I recently was delighted to switch on my radio and discover that the ABC was talking about the architecture of the Rouse Hill Town Centre, (unfortunately I missed most of the broadcast though). I personally feel that it’s one of the best designed town centres in Sydney. In fact I honestly have not been to another town centre in Sydney that is as nice, but I haven’t been to every town centre in Sydney so perhaps there is another that’s just as good!

I’ve blogged on the radio site about how impressed I am with Rouse Hill Town Centre and then I was inspired to google the architects as well just to congratulate you on how well designed I think Rouse Hill Town Centre is.

Unlike a covered mall like the Westfields there is a good mix of indoor and outdoor spaces so you get plenty of sun but enough shade also, so you don’t feel cooped up, but unlike the traditional main street shopping strips, which were often one long street, it’s not a long road instead they have had the sense to make it compact which means that you don’t feel that you have to walk miles to get from one shop to another. The irony is that with the Westfields becoming so huge they now too seem like a huge walk to get from one end to the other, so it’s kind of like being in a long main street but without the sunshine!

I really think the Rouse Hill Town Centre has pretty much perfected the design of a town centre. The first time I went there I thought wow!

I work at the North West Community college so I’m not actually a local so I don’t do a lot of shopping at Rouse Hill as generally I’m working but it’s is such a nice environment to sit out in the sun at lunchtime. Additionally I personally I am not heavily into consumerism anymore so when I do finish work I pretty much just buy my groceries and the odd bit of clothing or presents and the Rouse Hill town centre has all of that, even when I do have time I’m more interested in being able to sit in a nice environment and do a bit of basic shopping then buying designer gear. Having said that it seems to me that the Rouse Hill town centre does offer some great shops with nice upmarket clothes too if that’s what someone is after, it certainly seems to offer pretty much all of the major shops except for DJs and Myers.

I would much rather have a meal or shop, see a movie or just sit in the sun and read a book at the Rouse Hill Town Centre than I would at any of the Westfields. I’d like to congratulate your architects on the design of the Rouse Hill Town Centre and for creating a town centre that is so uplifting and enjoyable to be in."

Dianne Ellis


Jury Citation Overview for the Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design

Located in the outer western suburbs of Sydney, the Rouse Hill Town Centre is a major new residential and mixed-use development on a large greenfield site. While the bulk of residential development is still to come, the first stage of predominantly retail and community facilities is already a vibrant drawcard to the surrounding suburbs. The great success of this project is founded in its clear and robust urban design strategy.

Rouse Hill breaks away from the “big box” model of internal retail centres and creates a network of open and semi-open streets, lanes, squares and public spaces more closely aligned with the values of the traditional small town. The consortium of architects, planners and developers has worked hard to create a relaxed environment of human scale, pedestrian amenity and material quality. Key features include numerous sustainability initiatives, underground car parking, a bus interchange and public spaces with a mix of shade and shelter. Urban design projects of this complexity involve a multitude of conflicting parameters and commercial pressures. At Rouse Hill these have been resolved through an exemplary urban design strategy, which establishes a fresh new model for town centre developments in the suburban environment.