Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne

Structural Designer

Atelier One

Client Name

Gandel Group and Vicinty Centres


Melbourne, Australia



LOCAL ARCHITECT: The Buchan Group    

PROJECT MANAGER: Rcpvic         



This design for structure and glazing of a catenary steel gridshell for the Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne sees the roof structure glazed with quadrilateral panels of varying sizes. The highly efficient double curvature of the gridshell covers an area of approximately 7000m2 and spans up to 32m. Bespoke software has been developed in-house for this project to create a roof form that combines an efficient form, planar fabricable panels and an elegant boundary.

Judge's comment:

The engineers worked to develop computational design tools to optimise the forms and deliver an efficient structure with a quadrilateral grid for this highly irregular surface and boundary geometry. The choice of a quadrilateral grid was driven from a drive to reduce the number of framing members and have high efficiency of glass panel cutting.

The judges acknowledged the commitment of the designers to innovation in process to solve the geometric constraints to deliver a structurally optimised quadratic framing geometry.

The complexity of the geometry demanded a series of computational and patterning solutions over multiple iterations to deal with the varying conditions whilst meeting the strict flatness requirements of the glass suppliers; of over 2600 panels just three fall outside the 1/100 out-of-plane limits. The grid connection detail was formed from over 2,800 unique CNC machined steel nodes, delivering clean, apparently seamless detailing within.

The success of these endeavours is manifest in the apparent simplicity of the solution and elegance of the framing.

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