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20.10.21 All media
Celebrating 60 years of Chadstone

Melbourne’s much-loved Chadstone Shopping Centre recently celebrated a huge milestone of operating for over sixty years as the ‘nation’s Fashion Capital’.

Buchan has proudly designed and delivered over three decades of renovation and expansion for ‘Chaddy’, which has earned a special place in the hearts of locals and international visitors alike.

The historical transformation of Chadstone Shopping Centre began in the 1980s with Chadstone now considered one of the top shopping destinations in the world.

When Chadstone Shopping Centre opened almost 60 years ago, it kicked off a shopping centre boom across the Australian nation. The opening of the centre in October 1960 was big news. Working with The Gandel Group, it cost the Myer Emporium $6 million to construct and more than 10 years to plan. Buchan was providing masterplanning services for Myer on other projects at the time.

1980 – 1990

Since 1984, Buchan’s involvement in every major stage of masterplanning, retail planning and redevelopment has contributed to make Chadstone one of the top shopping centres in the world.

Buchan was the architect for Chadstone’s first major expansion which began in 1983 with the enclosure of the original, open-air mall. Chadstone was the first contemporary, open-air shopping centre to be built in Melbourne and the largest in Australia at that time.

1991 – 2000

By the early 1990s only 20% of the original mall remained. Buchan and CallisonRTKL began their partnership to transform Chadstone into a world-renowned fashion and entertainment hub.

Together, the team devised a masterplanned expansion program that began with designing classic and elegant interiors beneath a column-free, two-level grand skylight dome. The dome consisted of three interconnected, glass vaulted roofs – the first-of-a-kind in Australia.

Prior to the turn of the century, Stage 20 saw the inclusion of 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. A curved exterior façade complements the landscape and makes a major landmark statement along the highway frontage.

2001 – 2010

The arrival of Chadstone Place bought active street frontages and an outdoor dining precinct to the centre with new supermarkets, fresh food and convenience retail in a ‘Main Street environment’. The Chadstone Place redevelopment was the first redevelopment project to achieve a 5-star Green Star Pilot Rating.

Buchan’s new graphics and wayfinding strategy gave definition to the precinct and an airport-style bus interchange, new bicycle station, two state-of-the-art health clubs and a creche further cemented Chadstone’s position as a significant retail destination.

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. With shopfronts up to six metres in height, the flagship fit outs are to a standard found in world renowned luxury streets in famous cities across the globe.

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 the interior spaces. The Chadstone West Mall Redevelopment achieved a 5-star Green Star benchmark and Chadstone achieved iconic status as the number one mall in Australia.

2011 – 2020

The 40th extension stage was the most ambitious and aspirational development undertaken by the visionary owners to deliver a global benchmark-setting, mixed-use precinct.

The North Retail Precinct creates a new draw for both shoppers and tenants. The four level galleria mall houses 100 new retailers including flagship fashion brands, a Tesla Motor Dealership, food court and two-level entertainment precinct with dining terrace, state-of-the-art cinema complex and Australia’s first Legoland Discovery Centre. Apple opened a new store, complete with a vast video wall surrounded by potted trees and the centre continues to expand its offer of international luxury brands setting up Australian flagship stores at Chadstone. The food courts of the past are also replaced by hip dining precincts. Foot traffic and total centre sales continue to rise.

The crowning jewel is the 7000 square metre glass grid shell roofs, 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 has been recognised for design excellence internationally, receiving the ‘Best of the Best’ design award by the International Council of Shopping Centres.

2021 and beyond

Buchan and CallisonRTKL continue to collaborate with Chadstone’s owners, Vicinity Centres and Gandel Group, to establish a sustainable framework for the future expansion and growth of Chadstone into a ‘city in itself’. As the offering continues to evolve to encompass a 5-star hotel, a wide variety of retail and entertainment venues, world-class restaurants and dining as well as quality, spacious commercial towers, Chadstone will maintain its dominance within the market as ‘shoppable entertainment’.

Constant evolution in response to changing consumer trends has been the centre’s hallmark and looking ahead, Chadstone is continuing its endless evolution as Australia’s biggest and most successful shopping and lifestyle destination.

We are proud to be on this journey and are looking forward to what’s next for this iconic retail destination.

Photography | Michael Gazzola