When Chadstone Shopping Centre opened almost 60 years ago, it kicked off a shopping centre boom across the Australian nation.
Buchan’s involvement in every major stage of retail planning and redevelopment since 1984 has contributed to make Chadstone one of the top shopping centres in the world.
‘First’ – contemporary open air shopping centre
The opening of Chadstone Shopping Centre in October 1960 was big news. It cost the Myer Emporium £6 million to construct and more than 10 years to plan. It was the first self-contained regional shopping centre in Melbourne, and the largest built in Australia at that time.
‘Bigger’ – doubling the size
Buchan was the architect for Chadstone’s first major expansion which began in 1983 with the enclosure of the original, open-air mall. In 1985 Coles New World relocated, a Target opened, and in 1986 a Hoyts 8 Cinema Complex was added.
‘New Chadstone’ – light filled lifestyle
By the early 1990’s only 20% of the original mall remained. Buchan and CallisonRTKL began their partnership to transform the mall into world renowned fashion and entertainment hub. Together, we devised a masterplanned expansion program that began with designing classic and elegant interiors, underneath a column-free, two-level grand skylight dome consisting of three interconnected, glass vaulted roofs – the first-of-a-kind in Australia.
‘Stage 20’ – bold, dramatic
Stage 20 featured a dramatic, curving retail galleria lining the Myer and David Jones department stores. The space is dominated by a continuous avenue of glass which floods the interior in natural light. The curving exterior façade complements the landscaping and makes a major landmark statement along the highway frontage.
‘Chadstone Place’ – active street and outdoor dining
The arrival of ‘Chadstone Place’ saw new supermarkets, fresh food and convenience retail in a ‘Main Street environment’ with an outdoor dining precinct. New entrances introduce an airport-style bus interchange as well as a new bicycle station, two health clubs and a crèche. Buchan was also instrumental in a new graphics and wayfinding strategy to give definition to the precinct. At this time Chadstone achieved iconic status as the number one mall in Australia.
‘Revitalised’ – luxury precinct
For the first time in an Australian regional shopping centre, brands such as Burberry, Chanel, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Tiffany & Co were unveiled. The shopfronts are up to six metres in height and the flagship fit-outs are to a standard of those found in world renowned luxury streets in famous cities. Part of a $140 million West Mall expansion the luxury precinct is situated in a new two-level galleria-style mall with a signature dramatic curved, glazed roof, allowing natural light to flood interior spaces.
‘Place of Choice’ – four level lifestyle mall
The 40th extension stage is the most costly to date with a $660 million development, to deliver a brand new North Retail Precinct to create a new draw for shoppers and tenants. The new wide spacious mall design has 100 new retailers, a Tesla Motors dealership, a food court, carparks, a state-of-the-art digital cinema complex and a new dining terrace.
The crowning jewel is the 7,000 square metre glass gridshell roof, designed using 3D modelling which gives the centre a light and airy feel. Each of the 2,700 quadrilateral, square and rectangular glass panels that make up the roof were individually installed. Each panel took 15 minutes to be guided in place by hand. The project received a 5 Star Green Star design rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.
‘Mixed-use’ – shopping, dining and entertainment
Chadstone is now the home for Australia’s first Legoland Discovery Centre. Apple opened a huge new store, complete with grove of native trees and vast video wall surrounded by potted trees and the centre expanded its offering of luxury brands. The food courts of the past are also replaced by hip dining precincts. Foot traffic and total centre sales are now up above 20% on the previous year.
‘Future’ – never standing still strategy
Constant evolution in response to changing consumer trends has been Chadstone’s hallmark.
Looking ahead, Chadstone is continuing its endless evolution as Australia’s biggest and most successful shopping and lifestyle destination.
Buchan and CallisonRTKL are helping Chadstone’s owners to create a masterplan to establish a frame work for future expansion and growth over the next decades that will see Chadstone maintain its dominance as ‘shoppable entertainment’.