Airey Taylor Consulting would like to congratulate Architects Iredale Pedersen and Hook (with PlaceLab and ETC) for their achievement of the coveted Iwan Iwanoff Award for Small Projects in the 2020 WA Architecture Awards for the South Perth Foreshore Connect South Canopies at Mends Street.
These eye-catching Numbat and Frilled Neck Lizard sculptures at Mends Street form an iconic entrance to the area and the lively core of the City of South Perth’s Connect South place activation project. The City of South Perth entered into a funding agreement with Dept Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities for this project.
Iredale Pedersen and Hook intended to design a new urban heart for South Perth and to honour the efforts of the nearby Perth Zoo in preserving these uniquely Australia animals – both within the Zoo and in its pioneering “breed and release” programs.
On the river side of Mends Street, these canopies (named for their sheltering function) form a new destination space along the foreshore and are visible from across the river at Elizabeth Quay and from King’s Park’s Eastern edge.
The original project was envisaged in structural steel, with folding of the plates like a work of origami. These folds were intended to increase the structural strength in line with the effect achieved with paper. The intensive labour costs due to the number of folding points and welds required in structural steel led to the decision to use 8mm plates of aluminium instead. As corrosion is also a key consideration of the environment of the windy and wet Swan River foreshore (with structures subject to wind, moisture, and salt/chloride ingress), the selection of aluminium also minimised the requirement for maintenance.
Airey Taylor Consulting were approached by builders Denmac in February 2019 for Structural Engineering design of the canopies in aluminium; as use of the material is uncommon in the Western Australian construction industry.
Time constraints were a consideration, as the modelling was required to be completed within a few weeks. As unique bespoke structures, each co-ordinate of the sculptures had to be manually input into SpaceGASS, the structural modelling software used to calculate the stresses involved. Each aluminium member was then modelled for wind and other pressures –the Numbat modelled with 83 nodal coordinates and the Frilled Neck Lizard with 84.
Using this careful modelling and structural design, the canopies have achieved a rating to resist windloads of up to 45 metres per second, regional wind speed only encountered every 500 years in Perth.
Following final structural check of the shop drawings completed by Denmac, the Numbat sculpture was installed with a 10mm tolerance, a fine testament to the accuracy and detail of both design and build teams involved. Placement of the Frilled Neck Lizard followed in two stages – the body first, followed by the head. Similar tolerances were achieved. Airey Taylor Consulting would like to also acknowledge the pioneering and precise work of fabricator Chris McCourt (formerly of Denmac, now at Customised Metal Works) for the excellent result.
Airey Taylor Consulting were delighted to assist in the creation of these unique structures and congratulate the visionary talent at Iredale Pedersen and Hook for their achievement, now in the running for National Architecture Awards of 2020.