Design of a feature, parabolic shaped roof structure with sweeping curves for an ambitious refurbishment of an existing 1967 shopping centre in the heart of Melbourne.

2019 Prix Versailles South Asia and the Pacific Awards, Shopping Malls Category – Special Prize Exterior Award

Eastland Shopping Centre in Melbourne has undergone a major and ambitious transformation. The mall, which originally opened in 1967, is now Melbourne’s most progressive and exciting urban shopping centre and features a stunning sweeping, parabolic shaped, glazed roof over its central concourse area. We worked on the structural scheme design of the entrance and roof which laid the concept for its current form.

Together with architect Softroom, we worked to develop a concept and subsequent scheme design that would complement the transformation’s interior design aspirations. For the roof this involved designing tall, 13m spanning arches that form a distinct form and a key part of the architecture. As it was an existing mall, we had to think carefully about the support points, load transfer path and how to deal with differential and thermal movements.

For the scheme design we carried out a detailed computer analysis model of the roof’s steelwork structure, rationalisation of the geometry of the curved glass to simplify production, advanced the glass to steelwork interface details and outlined the design of the front vertical facade. The arches were complicated by their fanning geometry which saw them gradually tip from vertical to horizontal around a central pivot point.

The design of the glazed envelope was developed hand-in-hand with the steel structure to ensure a coherent, unified structural concept that could be realised in a practical, buildable and economical manner. By rationalising the geometry of the panels, they went from doubly curved to cylindrical in shape which amounted to a considerable fabrication saving without affecting the architectural vision.

Melbourne, Australia

QIC Global Retail Estate