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The Glen Shopping Centre, Glen Waverley (Entry by Fabritecture)

The Glen ETFE Entry Canopy Description

The Glen ETFE entry canopy was designed to cover the outdoor food court area as part of the shopping centre’s AUD$490 million redevelopment in East Melbourne.

Fabritecture completed the design & construction of a steel and single-skin ETFE clad canopy to provide protection for patrons from the wind & rain in the outdoor dining precinct. The client also desired an aesthetic feature roof with custom artwork printed into the ETFE that would be synonymous with the culture of the surrounding area and that would enhance the overall look and feel of the Centre.


During 2019, a large shopping centre in Melbourne underwent an AUD$490 million redevelopment to create a dining & entertainment hub for an up and coming suburb. Fabritecture completed the design and construction of a fabric art single skin ETFE canopy at the entrance to the shopping centre that covers the alfresco dining & entertainment vicinity.


The single skin ETFE canopy is supported by RHS and CHS structural steel frame with white three coat paint system. The ETFE single skin cladding is 250µm ETFE with custom digital print, supported by high quality SS cables at 1.3m centres.



The canopy is made up of 10 ETFE panels in total. There are 6 panels for the canopy and 4 panels to make up the skylight at the entrance of the centre. The canopy was designed to provide a welcoming and exciting ambiance for the dining area. The client requested a bespoke feature roof structure that included an aesthetic custom artwork on the top. The idea behind the custom print on the ETFE was to make the design synonymous with the culture of the surrounding suburbs, and of course to enhance the overall look and feel of the shopping centre. The ETFE canopy provides weather protection as well as reducing the UV exposure for the patrons underneath. 250µm clear ETFE was selected for the canopy.

The designer of the leaf pattern on the ETFE was UAP Studio (Urban Art Projects). The pattern has been digitally printed onto the ETFE which allows an individualised architectural design that was specifically created for the shopping centre. It is not usually a common process to use custom printing on ETFE membrane. To make the print waterproof and more durable, a primer was applied in addition to the typical corona treatment.

There was significant amount of testing on the different ink colours making up the custom pattern conducted by the ETFE digital printing company to ensure that the colours were stable under UV light over time. Accelerated weather testing was undertaken over a series of weeks to ensure the stability of the digital ink colours.


The digital print requires a high level of quality control. The pattern bitmap including cut lines for patterns was applied at the printer’s facility onto the raw film and at the manufacturer’s facility precisely cut and welded together. During fabrication, care needed to be taken to ensure that the digital colour print on the ETFE did not scratch. This added to the time and cost of fabrication.


There was a significant amount of other works being undertaken on site above the canopy so the program needed to ensure that there would not be anything likely to fall onto the canopy from above.

Given this was an existing operable site and we were on a tight program for the canopy to be installed before the opening of the redevelopment, the installation of the canopy needed to be carefully orchestrated by the Fabritecture team.

The steelwork for the skylight as installed first, followed by the gutter beams for the main canopy, inner rafters corners, ridge beams, then final beams and purlins. Edge beams were last to be installed before all bracing was removed.  

Installation of the ETFE single skin cladding was undertaken by 8 crew members using 2 x 60 ft boom EWPs (for ETFE deployment) and 2 x 60 ft Knuckle Boom EWPs (for ETFE deployment) as well as telehandler for lifting the ETFE onto the steel.


The Glen Shopping Centre project was valued at AUD$1.9m


The alfresco dining area is complimented by the roof canopy as it is also filled with trees and natural flora. This gives an organic 'backyard feel' to the dining space. The client was very happy with the final results of the project and the canopy met the brief design. This project resulted in continued business from the client.


Project Name: The Glen Shopping Centre
Location: 235 Springvale Road
City:  Glen Waverley, VIC 3150

GPS Location: -37.87573218614396, 145.16590930338126
Completion Date: 1-Jul-17
Category (1-8): Large structures > 1,000m2

Entrant Name: Fabritecture
Address (Street): Unit 14/15 John Duncan Court, Varsity Lakes, QLD 4227
Telephone Landline: +61 7 5587 7000
Mobile: +61 408 402 716
Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website Address: www.fabritecture.com
Entrant Type / Role: Designer / Installer
Project Client: Probuild
Project Architect: N H Architecture
Structural Engineer: Wade Design Engineers
Building Contractor: Probuild