Melbourne’s climate was another special factor seele had to consider: with a glass roof up to 260m long, the high temperatures possible in this city can lead to deformations of up to 135mm. It is therefore vital that the supports for the glass roof on the building not only withstand the high loads of the roof, but also include a sliding detail to accommodate the very considerable deformations caused by temperature fluctuations.
A total of 2,672 cold-bent ISO insulating glass panes form the outer envelope. In order that really every pane format could be installed on site, seele has made minimal changes to the façade form specified by the architects – to great effect. As a result, all pane formats were produced using the cold bending technique. The line of the roof descending over three floors leads to diverse structural challenges for the transition from the horizontal, heavily loaded roof area to the vertical façade section. As this is the first such design on this scale, seele had to carry out pioneering work, which included the custom screw fixings.
Tight scheduling presented another challenge in the Chadstone project: less than 12 months for design, fabrication planning and production followed by just eight further months for the erection of the steel-and-glass roof. One essential factor that was helping seele to stay on schedule was the company’s production-based approach. In less than six months, 2,810 steel nodes, 5,168 frame members made from four different welded section types and 54 curved edge beams more than 10m long were produced and delivered to a continent on the other side of the world.
Owing to its dimensions and form, the specific local demands and the logistics challenges, the free-form roof for Australia’s largest retail complex has a very important place among the projects in which seele has participated. So the Chadstone roof is yet another structure that demonstrates vividly the wealth of skills available within seele.