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The Link

Features | February 1, 2022 | By:

When the five-star Hotel Chadstone was built in Melbourne, Australia, developers wanted a visually stunning way to connect the hotel to the nearby Chadstone Shopping Centre, the largest mall in the southern hemisphere. 

They created The Link, a fabric-over-glulam (glued and laminated) timber structure that provides covered access for patrons between the hotel and the retail area. From the Hotel Chadstone, a series of high transverse timber arches create a cathedral-like promenade that blurs the line between the retail, commercial and leisure zones of Chadstone shopping area. A series of escalators bring visitors into the shopping center.

Designed by the Make architecture firm and built by MakMax Australia, the goal was to complement the shopping center’s existing vaulted glass roof with an iconic structure created with timber arches, covered with a semi-translucent tensile fabric membrane. The Link is an idyllic walkway that replaces part of a multi-level car park and creates a more accessible, engaging entrance to the Chadstone retail area.

At 328 feet, the walkway is slightly shorter than a football field and is about 50 feet high. It is covered by nearly 600 feet of high-translucency THV-coated PTFE fabric. PTFE is entirely hydrophobic, so water cannot pass through this synthetic material. 

The combination of the high-translucency fabric and the light finish of the glulam timber provides a sense of openness, while maintaining architectural continuity between the hotel and the mall. With open sides that eliminate the need for air conditioning, the structure optimizes light transmission and diffusion, while protecting visitors from the weather.

MakMax Australia was honored with an Award for Excellence by the Specialised Textiles Association in Australia and received a 2021 IFAI IAA Award of Excellence. 

Structure: The Link, Melbourne, Australia

Design: Make Architects

Installation: MakMax Australia

Fabric: THV-coated PTFE fabric

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