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Lantern Lane – Asian themed retail fit-out

Creating an Asian street food experience at a modern shopping centre

For this retail fit-out project, Natureworks created a colourful, exciting Asian laneway food court in the Stockland shopping centre in Cairns, North Queensland. Stockland engaged Natureworks to create an Asian street food precinct in a new extension to the existing food court. Specifically, the laneway precinct has five food tenancies offering tasty street-style Asian cuisine.

Our project challenge was to create the feel and vibe of a traditional Asian street food market in a modern retail space. Above all, we wanted it to be an enjoyable experience for customers.

The main components we created for this project were: two shopfront entrances to the laneway, golden Foo Dogs to guard the entrance, and themed street poles to simulate the character of an Asian street. Additionally, we hung over 70 traditional silk and paper illuminated lanterns all along the laneway. This gave the precinct its name – Lantern Lane

Photo gallery

Project details

Natureworks designed two highly themed decorative and stylised feature entrances at either end of the laneway. The main shopfront entrance looks like a traditional Asian temple gate.

Each entrance has large golden temple guardian lions (Foo Dogs) sitting atop golden plinths guarding either side. The Foo Dogs and plinths were new pieces that we sculpted, made into moulds, cast in fibreglass and finished with gold leaf paint. We have now added these pieces to our collection. They are available as male or female Foo Dogs in gold or stone finish (see Foo Dog sculptures).

Adding a touch of realism to the retail fit-out

If you’ve ever been to an old-style Asian street market, you’ll know the street electrical wiring can be quite interesting, to say the least! Because crazy spaghetti-like overhead wires are often a feature of Asian streetscapes, we wanted to create that effect in Lantern Lane. In order to achieve this, we suspended over two kilometres of faux electrical wires attached to old-looking telegraph poles. The poles were an antique pressed metal look, with well-worn street lights, old rusty junction boxes, ceramic electrical insulators, and other electrical paraphernalia.

Constructing the facade

To construct the entrance facades, we installed a structural steel post and beam framework. After that, we added a roof frame, roof tiles, aged timber columns and beam cladding.

Natureworks built the facade components using a variety of materials – fibreglass, lightweight polyurethane and polystyrene foam, ply sheeting and bamboo panels. After constructing these various components, our artists used creative paint finishes to achieve the final aged and antiqued look.

Of course, sometimes it is possible to achieve an authentic look without creating items from scratch. For instance, the street telegraph poles are based on existing steel light poles, with fibreglass skins attached to create the aged look, and electrical cables completing the effect. Other props, such as paper lanterns, are easily sourced. These are the sort of small details that don’t cost a lot but can make a big difference to the overall experience!

Project details
Project: Lantern Lane food court facade design and retail fit-out
Location:Stockland Shopping Centre, Mulgrave Rd, Earlville, Cairns (see map)
Date completed:2019
Related products:Foo Dogs, Plinth (Gold Leaf), Themed entry statements, Lions – entry statements
Related catalogues:Entry Statements, Garden Decor
Similar projects:Giant tree in shopping centre, Crab & murals for seafood business, Storybook library

Custom retail fitouts and themed entrances

The Lantern Lane retail fit-out project demonstrates it is possible to transform a modern space into something truly unique. It also shows that what you can achieve is only limited by your imagination. At Natureworks, turning imagination into reality is our business!

As well as designing custom facades and fit-outs for shops or restaurants, we can draw from our amazing collection of artificial trees, artificial rocks and animal sculptures. Because of this, we can always find cost-effective ways to enhance your retail space, restaurant, hotel or tourist attraction.

Please see more of our project case studies or contact Natureworks if you’d like us to help turn your space into something special!