Strategic design vision and ongoing development creates regional retail stronghold
Strategically situated just a few miles outside of Melbourne, Chadstone Shopping Centre is Australia’s oldest and largest shopping mall boasting more than 500 specialty shops and nearly 10,000 parking spaces. Originally inspired by the suburban malls of post-war America, Chadstone opened in 1960, marking Australia’s first move from traditional individual storefront districts to the contemporary shopping centre model.
Over the years, Chadstone has undergone a series of visionary renovations reflecting cutting-edge developments in both design and retail planning. Chadstone’s first expansion began in 1983 with the enclosure of the original, open-air mall which nearly doubled its size and laid plans for future growth.
RTKL’s twenty year involvement with the centre began in 1990, when the global design firm was commissioned to transform the mall into a light-filled lifestyle centre where retail, art and leisure intersect. The result, termed New Chadstone, is a focus on classic and elegant interiors supported by a striking, column-free, two-level grand skylight dome consisting of three interconnected, glass vaulted roofs – the first such endeavour in Australia. This milestone design was integral in attracting leading high-end fashion retailers to the shopping centre format, establishing Chadstone as the 'Fashion Capital' of Australia.
Following the success of the concept, RTKL honed the design with the addition of Stage 20, an entertainment pavilion, completed in 1999. The bold, dramatic, curving retail gallery linking two major department stores is dominated by a sweeping wave of glass which floods the interior with natural light. This aesthetic was extended externally by horizontally scaling the rectangular buildings facing the adjacent highway. This created a curving façade enhanced by landscaping and sculpture, giving the mall a landmark presence.
To round out the development with a mix of both inside and outside experiences, Chadstone Place was added in 2008. A contemporary expression of Chadstone’s beginnings as an open-air mall, Chadstone Place is a mixed-use development, complementing the existing enclosed malls with external Main Street shops and cafes. At the heart of Chadstone Place is a pavilion-style shopping area that marks the perimeter of the piazza and the entry to the refurbished mall.
The project also includes a four-level office development situated among the project’s pleasing meandering street fronts, generous landscaping, sculptures, street lighting and casual seating. Over a number of years, the owners, Colonial First State Global Asset Management and The Gandel Group have continually developed and enhanced their approach to sustainability across their portfolio.
Chadstone Place was the first Australian shopping centre to achieve a 5-Star Green Star Certified Rating under the Green Building Council Shopping Centre Design rating system. Sustainability efforts focused on energy, transportation and water usage. To capitalize on Chadstone’s proximity to public transportation, the development is integrated with the bus hub and includes a transit lounge for bus passengers. There is also a bicycle station with space for 200 bicycles and facilities for cyclists, including showers and lockers.
Energy and water savings were achieved through numerous measures including the energy-efficient lighting systems, installation of individual air-conditioning units for each tenant, low-flow water fixtures, and rain sensors that have helped achieve an average 14% reduction in water usage. Tenants benefit from the natural day-lit quality of the space and reduced operating costs associated with the mall’s efforts to minimize energy and water usage.
The most recent addition to the centre is the West Mall, which opened with a 91% occupancy rate in 2009. Under a multi-year phased programme, the 463,000 sq ft West Mall expansion makes Chadstone Centre the largest regional shopping centre in Australia, totaling 1.45 million sq ft. The expansion adds a new two-level high fashion district at the southern end of the centre. Refined landscaping complemented by bronze and stone detailing provides an architectural identity for the entrance.
Inside, the space is defined by a distinctive spiral of glass that culminates in seashell-shaped skylights. The second phase adds a new entertainment zone at the centre’s northern end. A new entry affords direct access to cinemas, restaurants and other entertainment venues. The existing eight-screen cinema is revamped and expanded to 19 screens on two levels. A lower-level cinema is reconfigured and expanded to 13 screens. Today, Chadstone continues to be one of the region's highest revenue-producing retail properties, competing directly with the cities of Melbourne and Sydney for retail driven visitorship. The mall’s design and diverse programming has helped attract a number of leading high-end fashion retailers to the region.
According to available leasing figures, Chadstone Shopping Centre was the first shopping centre in Australia to have its total worth exceed over A$1 billion. The centre also reports an Annual Traffic Movement of 16.7 million shoppers and in 2007, an annual turnover of A$1 billion, the first turnover of A$1 billion in Australia.
The architects for this project are RTKL and The Buchan Group.
Over the years, the mall has undergone a series of visionary renovations reflecting cutting-edge developments in both design technology and retail planning which have contributed to its long-term economic success. Its many achievements include being the first Australian shopping centre to attain a 5-Star Green Star Certified Rating under the Green Building Council Shopping Centre Design rating system. Its design is also the first to incorporate a column-free, two-level vaulted glass skylight. This milestone design was integral in attracting leading high-end fashion retailers to the shopping centre format, establishing Chadstone as the 'Fashion Capital' of Australia.
Due in part to a focus on design innovation, Chadstone continues to be one of the region's highest and most effective revenue-producing retail properties. The dynamic design and programming has helped attract a number of leading high-end fashion retailers to the region. According to available leasing figures, Chadstone Shopping Centre was the first shopping centre in Australia to have its total worth exceed more than A$1 billion.
The centre also reports an Annual Traffic Movement of 16.7 million shoppers and in 2007, an annual turnover of A$1 billion, the highest turnover in Australia.