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Luxury Tensile Membrane for The Link, Chadstone by MakMax

Luxury Tensile Membrane for The Link, Chadstone by MakMax

The Link, Chadstone

Name of the project: The Link.
Location address: Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne, Australia.
Client (investor): Vicinity Centres.
Function of building: Walkway.
Type of application of the membrane: Glulam arch supported canopy.
Year of construction: 2019.
Architects: Make Ltd (concept)/Cera Stribley (project architect).
Consulting engineer for the membrane: MakMax Australia.
Main contractor: The Hickory Group.
Contractor for the membrane (tensile membrane contractor): MakMax Australia.
Supplier of the membrane material: Sefar.
Membrane manufacture and installation: MakMax Australia.
Material: Tenara 4T40HF (High Translucency THV coated PTFE fabric).
Covered surface (roofed area): 1750sqm.
Photography: Peter Bennets.

Designed to blur the lines between the retail, commercial and leisure zones of Chadstone's high-end fashion shopping precinct with the newly opened Hotel Chadstone Melbourne MGallery by Sofitel, The Link transforms part of a multi-level car park into a cathedral-like promenade for shoppers and hotel guests.

Luxury Tensile Membrane for The Link, Chadstone by MakMax

Commissioned by leading Australian real estate investment trust Vicinity Centres, and completed in October 2019, The Link is a 100m arched walkway that soars up to 15m above the pedestrian zone and covered with 1750m² of high-translucency THV coated PTFE fabric.

The designing architect's vision was to complement Chadstone Shopping Centre's existing vaulted glass roof with an iconic structure made created with glulam timber arches, covered with a semi-translucent tensile fabric membrane.

The design and engineering challenge faced by MakMax Australia on The Link was to deliver a premium tensile membrane finish to complement the projects' luxury look and feel. With the aim to link the new 5-star Hotel Chadstone to the Chadstone Shopping Mall - the membrane finish had to complement the high-end, luxurious aesthetic of the project.

Luxury Tensile Membrane for The Link, Chadstone by MakMax

Chosen for it high-strength and pliable ePTFE fibres to optimise light transmission and diffusion, the 1750m² of high-translucency Sefar Tenara 4T40HF THV coated PTFE canopy protects customers, guests and visitors from the weather, while still providing a light, airy and inviting pedestrian walkway.

A strong design focus was made to the membrane detailing, ensuring all fixings were minimal and discreet, while still offering the strength and flexibility required for installation. This task was made more difficult by the multi-planar fixing surfaces each glulam leg provided and the restrictions of fixing to glulam itself. The resulting details look light and inconspicuous, fitting in with the language of the rest of the design.

Having limited site-access was a challenge overcome in the installation phase. The structure needed to be integrated into the existing (and operational) premium shopping centre and required being constructed directly on top of several layers of basement.

Luxury Tensile Membrane for The Link, Chadstone by MakMax

The breathtaking visual effect that results from the high-translucency fabric and light finish of the glulam timber, provides an incredible sense of openness, while maintaining architectural continuity between the hotel and the mall. The high transverse arches create an almost cathedral-like nave that draws pedestrians along and upwards via a series of escalators into the alter of Melbourne's Fashion Capital, Chadstone.

The project has won several awards across multiple industries for the various contributors. As the membrane designer, engineer, and installer, MakMax Australia received the Specialised Textiles Association (Aust) 2020 Award For Excellence: Tension Structures 250SQM to 2000SQM.

For more MakMax case studies, please visit www.makmax.com.au/portfolio.



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