The Link at Chadstone

  • 2020

  • Architectural
    Place Design

Commissioned By:

Vicinity Centres

Designed In:


The Link is a breath-taking pedestrian walkway connecting Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre with the new Hotel Chadstone.
It is formed from a vaulted ‘glulam’ timber structure with a tensile, semi-translucent ‘PTFE’ fabric stretched over to protect patrons from the weather, yet still connect people to the environment.

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Image: Peter Bennetts
Image: Make Architects
Image: Peter Bennetts
Image: Peter Bennetts
Image: Peter Bennetts
Image: Peter Bennetts
Image: Peter Bennetts
Image: Make Architects
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  • Make was asked to create a pedestrian route to connect the newly opened Hotel Chadstone and the commercial offices at Tower One with Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre. Previously the route required a complex navigation across three levels of car park, with a 9m shift in ground level. The brief required the route to cater for an existing mature tree and for the new space to have flexibility to accommodate pop-up events. Furthermore, there was a strong ambition to connect users with the environment, in contrast to the traditional ‘hermetic’ shopping mall.

  • We delivered a new walkway formed from a canopy of semi-translucent PTFE fabric which is stretched across an inspiring vaulted, diagrid exposed timber structure that takes in the 9m shift in ground level with gentle steps. The design ambition was for the Italian larch glulam structure to be self-supporting with a light weight touch on the existing carpark and reinforced from beneath. This simple route demonstrates the client’s progressive approach to retail. The space prioritises flexibility and a connection to nature, alongside a restaurant there is also room for pop-up events, whilst the structure can be extended, condensed or relocated.

  • The Link is a great example of how retailers and landowners are thinking differently to adapt to changing consumer behaviour, incorporating new uses into their centres, but also creating flexible spaces like this, spaces that don’t necessarily drive revenue but that tap into what patrons are looking for in terms of places that promote wellbeing and that provide a more relaxed, natural environment.

  • In addition to providing shelter from the elements, the semi-translucent ceiling enlivens the space, capturing the colours of the skyscape as they change throughout the day and glow into the evening. The design encourages patrons to linger and experience the weather as it changes around them. All other features within the space are below eye level in order to celebrate the scale and beauty of the architecture. Together with Delivery architects Cera Stribley, the design team collaborated to enhance the design ambition, delivering the project in an extremely tight timescale, starting on site just nine months before completion. Landscape architects Lat27 introduced a mixture of native, evergreen climbing and scented landscaping, such as Boston ivy and jasmine, to create a sensory experience and divide up the space. With sustainability in mind, artificial lighting is minimal; NDYLight’s scheme highlights the features of the timber structure to create a gentle glow, allowing visitors to continue enjoying the space through the evening. In its purest form, The Link is a beautiful yet modest piece of urban design that has simplified a once-convoluted connection, but it is also representative of the ways in which architecture can offer more.