The Link at Chadstone

Make Architects with Cera Stribley

The Link is a new pedestrian walkway connecting Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre with the Tower One office building and new Hotel Chadstone, MGallery by Sofitel. It is formed from a vaulted glulam timber structure with a tensile, semi-translucent PTFE fabric stretched over to protect customers, guests and visitors from the weather, yet still connect people to the environment.

Taking cues from the arched glass roof of the shopping centre, The Link has delivered a simple, straight route that stretches 110 metres in length and takes in a 9-metre shift in ground level with gentle steps and travellators. Previously the route from the hotel to the shopping centre would have required a complex navigation across three levels of car park.

The space, which soars up to 15 metres at its tallest point, includes native evergreen climbing plants and scented soft landscaping that creates a sensory experience and divides up the space. Bespoke evening lighting highlights the features of the timber and structure with a gentle glow. The flexible design also accommodates a restaurant and has space for events such as art installations and exhibitions. All features within the space are below eye level in order to celebrate the scale and beauty of the architecture.

The design ambition was for the Italian larch glulam structure to be self-supporting with a lightweight touch on the existing car park, which is reinforced from beneath. The diagrid was inspired by the patterns in Chadstone’s iconic arched glass roof. The team worked closely to deliver the project in an extremely tight timescale, starting on site just nine months before completion.

The space prioritises flexibility and a connection to nature. The structure is adaptable and can be extended, condensed or relocated. The Link is a space to meet and dwell, and slows the pace of the busy retail destination, allowing people to connect with each other and themselves.

Furniture: Schindler, Normark. Lighting: Maxim B. Finishes: Rubner Holzbau, MakMax, Signature Stone, Dellermay. Fittings & Fixtures: Lumorail.

Photography: Peter Bennetts