Chadstone Shopping Centre, Stage 33, Chadstone, Victoria
Feasibility Master Planning by James Woodburn
Architects in Association:
The Buchan Group and RTKL
Stage 33 incorporated the construction of a new lower ground and ground level retail mall, the expansion of an existing south west multi–level car park, and additional level of car parking to the existing East multi-level car park, upgrades to the existing services infrastructure currently serving the Shopping Centre and construction of a new lower level deliveries area.
The demolition of the golden mile of Australian retail at ground level and the construction of a two level mall in its place was a brave decision. However, the completion of the Chadstone loop at both Ground and Lower Ground levels was considered vital for the long term viability of the centre. The look, feel and layout of this development had to take Chadstone to the next level without alienating it from what went before.
Whilst the planning concept was simple, the devil was in the details. The patterned floor, glazed roof, high shopfronts, mall voids, balustrades and bulkhead details were agonised over in an effort to achieve a timeless and classy aesthetic to match the new luxury stores going into the mall. All of this work had to transition smoothly through the connections with the existing centre. Once again, entrances and facades were required to reflect the existing external appearance of the centre, but also to take that theme to another level of sophistication and detail. One little known but vital ingredient to the success of the project was the design of the new loading dock below the Lower Ground level of the centre, and the access to it via an ingenious ramp system.