Energetic vibe: Light captured by the heliostat is reflected into Central Park, the new shopping centre in Broadway that opened on Thursday. Photo: Kate Geraghty
If a shopping centre could reflect a type of personality, the newest entrant, Central Park, would be a well-dressed hipster with a short attention span. And it was, literally, as countless mirrors in the centre reflected the images of its young trendy visitors.
With edgy design, gardens spread around, and an interactive wall where shoppers can watch themselves dance to their own heartbeat, Central Park's "vertical mall" on Broadway attracted a young audience at its opening on Thursday.
Using words such as "shopping destination" and "cutting edge", Frasers Property Australia chief executive officer Guy Pahor was pleased by the number of shoppers in the centre only three hours after its official opening.
Impressed: Belle Stewart, left and Kate Helps get a taste of the centre. Photo: Kate Geraghty
"We have created what we think to be a very exciting and engaging environment," he said.
The centrepiece of the mall is the 110-tonne heliostat dangling 100 metres above street level that reflects light into the complex from 320 giant mirrors. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this is Australia's first heliostat that tracks the movement of the sun.
"It's taking light that's already there and redirecting it in a location that we would push it to be," Mr Pahor said.
Sitting on the public ground outside, two 23-year-old university students, Kate Helps and Belle Stewart, were disappointed the last day of their university degrees had coincided with the opening of the centre.
"It's so good," Ms Helps, from Bondi, said. "It was like, totally dark and dingy before and there is a nice bit of greenery and it's a good spot to sit and have a chill."
"Yeah it's going off in there," Ms Stewart, from Newtown, said.
But older customers were not as impressed with the pumping music and energetic vibe.
Glebe resident Barbara Murray, 75, said the shopping centre was an "experience" but she had not found anything she wanted to buy.
"I think they have done it beautifully . . . but I wouldn't come here," she said.