Make Architects has designed a dramatic new engineered timber entryway for the Chadstone shopping centre in Melbourne.

Adjacent to the Myer car park, ‘The Link’ will become the front door to Chadstone, providing a clear pedestrian transition from the shopping centre to the new hotel and commercial offices on the site.

Taking cues from the arched glass roof that covers the internal shopping malls, Make has designed a 15m-high arched passageway created from a diagrid of Italian larch glulam. A highly translucent PTFE fabric will be tensioned over the top of the glulam structure, allowing The Link to be flooded with natural light while sheltering pedestrians from the weather.

Chadstone link archway

The Link will neatly traverse the change in site levels with both travellators and stairs, facilitating an effortless journey for hotel guests and customers. It will incorporate extensive landscaping and seating, providing a green oasis where visitors to Chadstone can pause and dwell.

Bespoke lighting will celebrate the architectural structure, while the lighting of the landscaping elements will create an ambient night-time experience. The flexible design and lighting will accommodate curated art installations, exhibitions and events, while seating for a new hotel restaurant will spill out to animate the space.

The sustainable, tactile materials and the soft, native landscaping will introduce a different atmosphere and pace, providing not only a functional connection but also a physical change in environment.

Chadstone timber link outside

“The Link will connect a currently fragmented site and integrate the different uses,” says Mattias Dorph, partner at Make Architects.

“The Link will be a beautiful, contemporary yet tranquil structure that is adaptable for different uses and stands the test of time, accommodating new uses and functions in an ever-changing retail context,” adds Jacob Alsop, also a partner at Make Architects.

The Link is scheduled for completion at the same time as the new Hotel Chadstone Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel in November 2019. Demolition and enabling works have already started.