Article Feature image - Hames Sharley Architecture, Urban Design, Planning and Interior Design

The redevelopment of Forrest Chase has positioned the complex as a world-class retail and entertainment precinct that was executed in multiple stages to maintain both the building operation and movement of people along Padbury Walk.

The redevelopment encompasses three significant structures located at the heart of Perth CBD. Padbury Walk; a key piece of pedestrian infrastructure connects Perth Central Train Station to Murray Street Mall, Hay Street Mall and beyond. Forrest Chase; a retail precinct, offering general retail and department stores. The sites are surrounded by significant infrastructure, cultural context, historic buildings and vibrant public spaces.

The clients key outcomes for the works were to combine the three sites to present as one, to create a space that allows pedestrians to stop and observe activities in Forrest Place and Murray Street Mall, to ‘lighten’ and open up the design of Padbury Walk and to reactive the retail, hidden by the heavy and aging concrete and fibreglass structure.

Padbury Walk, constructed in the 1980s, is the elevated walkway wrapping around the perimeter of Forrest Chase. Through various overpasses and stairs, it connects to City Central, department stores, Perth Railway and Carillon City. The walkway and its canopy have a significant presence in the City’s urban fabric and an appropriately scaled and respectful response was required to complement its scale and grandeur. A thin veil of stepping and layered fritted glass was designed to provide thermal comfort for pedestrians along Padbury Walk. Steel columns replace the heavy concrete columns mirroring the rhythm of the adjacent historic buildings. High aluminium clad soffits with glass skylights create a grand scale for pedestrians to move through. Two balconies located on the west and south elevations of the walkway provide opportunities for pedestrians to break away from the main walkway for people to observe city life.

The Murray Street Overpass has significant presence, projecting over Murray Street Mall, Perth’s premier shopping centre. The new design of this bridge and canopy invert the old structural design by locating the structural elements in the roof space, allowing the introduction of delicate steel rods to suspend the thin concrete walkway and open sightlines to the building and retail beyond. A plane of the polished stainless steel was introduced to the soffit of the bridge with the intent to reflect the cities activities.

With the introduction of a new folded aluminium façade, full-height glazing the scale and materiality of Padbury Walk was replicated onto City Central, to visually link and present the three urban fabrics as one.

The perimeter retail offers in Forest Chase were re-planned to provide more conveniently sized spaces to come in line with the current retail requirements. Double height shopfront was designed to allow for the purpose of retailers to fit out and revive Forrest Chase as a premier retail offering in the Perth CBD.

The Redeveloped Forrest Chase in the Perth CBD
The Redeveloped Forrest Chase in the Perth CBD