Fabritecture (UFS Australasia Pty Ltd T/A Fabritecture) Varsity Lakes, QLD
Producer: Pro-Knit Industries Pty Ltd (Australia)
Supplier: Pro-Knit Industries Pty Ltd (Australia)
Engineer Company 1
Fabric Solutions Australia
Project Manager Company
Please describe the project specifications
The Scarborough Foreshore project in Western Australia was part of an AUD$100 million redevelopment funded by the State Government and the City of Sterling. The masterplan spanned 100 hectares, covering the construction of a playground, skate park and an upgrade to the beach front promenade.
Our scope of the redevelopment involved the design & construction of 3 steel-framed arbour shade structures along the beachfront. The structures involved 31 architectural ‘tree’ columns with a complex cabling system to support brightly patterned mesh fabric, electrical cabling, and future plant growth.
The structures are placed along the South beachfront, North beachfront, and Intergenerational Plaza of Scarborough Beach.
What was the purpose of this project? What did the client request?
The masterplan for the Scarborough Beach redevelopment was created to give the area and it’s locals a much needed upgrade of facilities and the public area. The focus was on economic regeneration and listening to the locals to build something that the whole community could be proud of.
For our scope, the client requested 3 architectural shade structures that were to go along the Scarborough Beach front and follow the architect’s design intent to reflect Scarborough’s strong heritage of surf, beach and skate culture.
What is unique or complex about the project?
The 90 tonnes steelwork on this project was extremely complex. This was due to the geometry that was required to achieve the vision of the architect.
Each structure if supported by unique tree-shaped structural columns that are designed to be leaning on an angle, mimicking the surrounding wind-swept trees at Scarborough Beach. Each tree column is made up of 8 curved steel trunks that were fabricated as one piece.
The canopy steel was also very complex, due to the curved nature of the geometry and the tight radiuses of the edge beams. In order to achieve the small radiuses, the wall thickness of the 168mm CHS members needed to be increased to reduce the amount of deformation present after rolling.
Due to the complex geometry of the structures, all three structures were built in full at the steel fabricators yard at fit up stage and prior to painting to ensure the steel installation would go to plan without any alignment issues; All steelwork was assembled during fabrication and fit up before welding. Once final welding was completed, one structure was fully assembly on the factory floor. The structure was then dismantled for hot dip galvanizing and painting using a metallic paint system.
Within the tree columns, a complex cabling system was installed to allow future plant growth on the arbour structures. 378 x 3-millimetre cable assemblies are looped through the steel at 4,536 locations to further support plant growth up and around the steel columns. 31 x 8-millimeter tension cable assemblies are fixed to the structure along the fabric perimeter.
The patterning of the fabric is an artwork in itself. A mesh fabric from the Monotec 370 series was chosen for the shade structures in vibrant colours Abaroo, Sherbet and Mellow Haze. Short strips of Domino coloured fabric were sewn into the fabric panels to form a pattern provided by the client.
As the geometry of the steel was unique, this also made the logistics of transport more complex. We had to make special plans to safeguard against the risk of damage to the metallic paint. Complex packing plans were developed by us, and stringent inspections were undertaken to ensure the plans were followed.
This extra effort ensured the steel arrived free of any major damage with the metallic paintwork still intact.
Overall, the project took 2,500 man hours to complete.
What were the results of the project?
The client was extremely pleased with the results of the Scarborough Beach Foreshore project. Our installation crew were complimented on their work ethic, and the attention to detail they provided to such public and interactive structures!
The client was particularly impressed with the quality of the fabrication of all elements of the arbour structures, and the professionalism of our Projects team.
As with most of our architectural projects, we went the extra mile to provide seamless cover plates to cover all steel connections, giving the structures that extra special finish they deserved.
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