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Melbourne - Australia

Since opening in 1960, the pioneering Chadstone development has become the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere, boasting over 530 stores served by Australia’s largest retail car park. Seeking to enjoy a further 50 fruitful years the centre’s management invited CivicArts to submit its vision for Chadstone’s future expansion.
The grand ambition of CivicArts’ scheme was to mould it into a new town centre for Melbourne that would be recognised as a cultural, commercial and civic hub for both the surrounding population and the city as a whole. It envisioned a shift from mono to mixed use with hotels, offices and apartments creating a resident and working population that could both serve and be served by a diverse portfolio of retail and leisure.
The reconfiguration of the existing retail offer created more expansive department stores with better services and a greater presence along the Princes Highway, whilst the shifting of cinemas and children’s zones to the north produced a concentrated leisure complex that could attract visitors within its own right. The re-jigged retail units were to be interspersed with such ‘Cultural Anchors’ as libraries, galleries and museums, in a conscious bid to elevate the educational and artistic aspirations of the new town centre.
Inserted into the existing retail hub, a series of radiating hotel and office towers create the desired density of activity, connecting through to conference venues and ballrooms, backed up by a package of spas, restaurants, clubs and cafes. Ranging from 12-40 storeys tall these towers created a dynamic new skyline silhouette for the previously low-lying centre, culminating in a lofty Signature Office Tower whose enviable adjacent amenities would have offered a serious commercial alternative to Melbourne’s CBD, still visible from its upper viewing decks.
The proposed excavation of an additional subterranean parking deck freed more land for the potential residents, making way for a new town centre of some 5,000 people, circling intimate garden squares and courtyards. This new green belt would benefit all: providing parklands for residents, green break-out spaces for office workers, a quiet a refuge for tired shoppers, and a pleasant vista for hotel guests.
The graceful sweeping arc of a grand new boulevard tied Chadstone’s town centre together. This elegant piece of planning would have eased vehicular access whilst presenting pedestrians with a pleasing open-air environment along which to shop, stroll or dine. Densely populated with restaurants and cafes, its broad pavements would make the most of their leafy shade, with tables spilling out into the street to create an exemplary outdoor dining destination.
Greater even than the sum of its parts, this tangible mixed-use masterplan promised a new demographic dimension to Chadstone’s ‘Fashion Captial’ status.

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