A 60 year old slab is turned into a historical centrepiece at new Sydney shopping centre

Fashion Spree is a new outlet shopping centre in Sydney. The shopping centre spans 14,000m2 and encompasses 50 retailers. Built in the 1950’s, the building was initially developed as the Viscount Caravan manufacturing facility and thereafter turned into the Liverpool Markets, a marketplace for fresh food, before becoming Fashion Spree. The 60 year old building has been revitalised as a part of the development process of this shopping centre and whilst the design of the new centre was focussed on creating a modern, upmarket space it was imperative to maintain its historical significance.

Transitions Polished Concrete floors at Fashion Spree in Sydney

A major component in honouring the history of Viscount Place was to renew the original concrete slab, which was laid at the buildings inception over 60 years ago and remains as one of the buildings original features today. At commencement of this project the concrete slab appeared weathered after decades of heavy industrial use. However there remained determination to give it a new lease on life and turn it into a striking design feature that was fit for purpose, for the generations to come.

The Product

Transitions Polishing and Grinding were fortunate to be granted the task of giving this slab a new outlook with the installation of Husqvarna Hiperfloor throughout the internal mall areas, Transitions Honed Concrete floors at the shopping centres entry and a 2mm epoxy polyurethane flooring system on the access ramps and bathroom corridors. In addition, Transitions completed varying polished concrete finishes in 35 of the retail tenancies. The slab at Fashion Spree shopping centre included a set of very specific objectives and requirements due to factors such as its age and condition as well as the intended future use of the floor, the specified aesthetic and design palette. In terms of functionality, the floor needed to be durable and hardwearing due to the constant and concentrated foot traffic it would endure during its lifespan. Furthermore, the chosen flooring product for Fashion Spree had to be installed in a quick timeframe without hindering the construction program and in amongst other trades.

Referring to the design aesthetic of the required flooring material, the client desired a floor that would both complement and enhance the industrial design palette. This included the need for a natural material to pair with the extensive use of brick throughout the centre as well as a highly reflective surface to increase levels of natural light and as a result minimise the need for artificial lighting.

As a result, Husqvarna Hiperfloor was chosen as the concrete flooring product for Fashion Spree shopping centre.

The Process

Prior to any construction taking place, Transitions commenced the flooring works with a vast amount of floor preparation. This included the removal of 2-4mm from the surface of the slab, across the entire 14,500m2. The aim of this process was not only to remove all of the existing flooring materials present, primarily consisting of epoxy flooring from its industrial use, but to ensure the entire slab was level and primed for the installation of the Husqvarna Hiperfloor.

Once the floor preparation works were complete and initial construction had commenced, all main internal walkways and common areas of the shopping centre were ground back to fully expose the 60 year old aggregate. The aggregate consisted of a natural mix of blacks, whites and browns all of consistent sizes and shapes. Following this, the Husqvarna Hiperfloor system was then installed and finished to a high gloss finish, achieving gloss readings of between 60-70 consistently.

During this process, TPG also installed polished concrete floors totalling 4800m2, in many of the retail tenancies and 150m2 of Transitions Honed Concrete to the front of the shopping centre to create a more seamless finish in terms of flooring materials when walking into the shopping centre and also 1000m2 of a 2mm epoxy polyurethane flooring system on the access ramps and bathroom passageways.

The Result

The results of the polished concrete floors at Fashion Spree shopping centre were nothing short of spectacular. Due to the floor preparation works and the workmanship of the grinding contractor, Transitions, there were no original damages, cut outs, infills or wear and tear evident from the 60 year old concrete slab. In fact, the quality of the finished floor appeared on par with a purpose poured slab, placed with the intent of installing polished concrete. The end result far exceeds the original expectation of the clients and what a delight it is to see a tired and completely overlooked building element turned into a design element, a feature and now a historical masterpiece.

Fashion Spree has this month been nominated in the International Polished Concrete awards 2016 in the Retail category. Transitions Polishing and Grinding were awarded this prize in 2014 and are proud to present another fantastic project.

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