It’s this kind of project, in which an Architect’s vision requires a more design-led response from the construction team. It was important for the Mountain bike trail to be echoed in the design and that the build shelters was structurally sound and secure, yet maintained an appearance of lightness, as though they are temporarily resting in the landscape. Thanks to our evolved DesignExecute2 methodology we can take a complex vision and deliver an outcome that is as close humanly possible to the original idea.
One of the main challenges with this projects was that all of the hold-down fixtures in the structure (aside from the fixings on the roof surface and side cladding) had to be invisible. The fabrication of the project was complex due to the nature of the structure, which involved a continuous steel framework that required heavy equipment to install. This project called for innovative engineering design as well as thoughtful planning that resulted in a safe but speedy construction and a careful control over costs.
Group GSA had been unable to complete the engineering process due to their initial choice of engineering partner. Therefore, they were understandably concerned about whether their design could be realised. After learning about our capabilities with design, Group GSA approached us in the hope that we could realise their vision.
Fleetwood brings the most value to projects when it is involved in the feasibility and concept development phase. It’s at this early stage of ‘Discovery’ that we can prototype materiality and construction techniques to ensure the design aspirations can be achieved. Our main priority is maintaining the initial design throughout the project to ensure the outcome is spectacular.
Our construction knowledge and engineering methods, meant that we could deliver structures that were both aesthetically pleasing and cost effective.
Our experienced team of Design-Led Engineers and Structural Specialists worked closely with the architect, developing a 3D model to illustrate the complex design, and then agreed on a roof cladding made of Corten™ sheeting.
We designed each shelter’s roof to flow down the western side of the structure to provide protection from the afternoon sun. We also cut shapes into the surface of the sheeting to create dynamic shadows as the sun moved. This added an extra design flourish which ensured the structures was in complete harmony with the environment.
The 3D models used during the ‘visualise’ stage flowed through to the detail design documentation. We used innovative design ideas and connection details to deliver the vision the architects wanted. This detail phase brought together all the knowledge gained during our collaboration to create a realistic and certified design.
With the fabrication of the shelters, our sole aim was to capture the architect’s vision of lightness while retaining the structural integrity of the main members. Using circular hollow section (CHS) pipes our manufacturing team carefully bent the pieces along two planes to create the necessary shapes. The pipes were then joined only at the underground baseplates, giving the shelter members a seamless finish. Due to the nature of the structure, that incorporated a continuous ribbon of framework, each shelter was built from the floor up by our purpose-built fabrication facility using scaffolds and overhead cranes.
Successful installation demanded a high level of precision and collaboration across all members of the Fleetwood Onsite Crew. With the guidance of our Project Management team coordinating all our Design-Led Engineers, fabrication and manufacturing teams and the installation team we were able to develop this vision into a landmark location.
It was great for our client to have our project managers and engineers on hand at any time to answer questions quickly. Open and fluid communications through a project of this complexity is so important to our clients.
The design of the shelters revolved around the use of this particular space of Western Sydney Parklands, that is ‘Mountain Bike Trail’. You can see the strong correlation between the bike racks and the shelter legs and they were intentionally designed to look like bike rack parts.
The shelters were designed to have a very light supporting structure, and to touch the ground lightly.
Robust materials were used, even in the accompanying amenities building, as can be seen here.
Throughout the project, we found Fleetwood to be very cooperative and responsive to the needs of the project. They provided their services in a timely manner which served to ensure the design and construction programs were met and achieved a high quality built work for this project.Mr Steven Hammond Principal – Landscape Architecture, GroupGSA
Group GSA | Western Sydney Parklands Trust
Premier's People's Choice Award for Landscape Architecture (2015) | Award for Design in Landscape Architecture (2015)