Wylde Mountain Bike Trail
Wylde Mountain Bike Trail
Wylde Mountain Bike Trail

Bringing Design-led Engineering to Western Sydney Parklands

It’s this kind of project, in which an Architect’s vision requires a more design-led response from the construction team, that Fleetwood excels. GroupGSA had already tried to achieve its vision with another engineering partner but had not achieved the outcome it desired.

Every structure that was built along the mountain bike trail had to complement one-another to deliver continuous experience from end-to-end. Of course, the shelters had to be structurally sound and secure, but the architects wanted us to maintain an appearance of ‘lightness’ with the structures, as though they are temporarily resting in the landscape.

Thanks to our evolved DesignExecute2 methodology we can take a complex vision like this and deliver an outcome that is as close humanly possible to the architect’s original idea.

 

The Challenge

The main challenge with this project was that 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, while always keeping in mind that our client needed a safe but speedy construction.

DesignExecute2™ Process at Wylde Mountain Bike Trail
01 Discover
02 Develop
03 Detail
04 Deliver

01 Discover

Unable to achieve their vision with their original engineering partner, Group GSA arrived at our Discovery session understandably concerned about whether their design concepts could be brought to life. After a detailed review of their designs, and a rigorous review of our design capabilities, it soon became clear that we could meet Group GSA’s 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 a truly spectacular outcome.

02Develop

Our construction knowledge and engineering methods mean that we can 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 were in complete harmony with the environment.

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.

03Detail

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.

04Deliver

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 a 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, which incorporated a continuous ribbon of the framework, each shelter was built from the floor up. To allow us to do this we created a purpose-built fabrication facility, using scaffolds and overhead cranes, within our Wetherill Park Workshop.

Successful installation demanded a high level of precision and collaboration across all members of the Fleetwood Onsite Construction Crew. With the guidance of our Project Management team coordinating all our Design-Led Engineers, fabrication and manufacturing teams the installation team we were able to develop this vision into a landmark location.

We know how important it is on a project of this scale and complexity to have our Project Managers and Engineers always on-hand to answer the client’s questions quickly so we relied heavily on our DE2 process and methodology to deliver the open and fluid communications Group GSA needed.

The Solution

The design of these shelters was always envisaged to be in context with the unique environment found within this particular part of the Western Sydney Parklands. The main feature of the experience is the ‘Mountain Bike Trail’ so all the structures along the periphery needed to add to the experience, rather than detract from it.

You can see all along the trail the correlation between the bike racks and the shelter legs because they were intentionally designed to look like bike rack parts.

The shelters were designed to have a very light supporting structure, so they would only touch the ground very lightly – to give that appearance of ‘floating’ in the air.

So even through we’ve achieved that desired light and unemcumbered aesthetic– you can rest assured, these shelters are rock solid and built to last.

Even though robust materials were used in the accompanying amenities building the impression is still one of lightness and suspension.

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

Project Details

Client

Group GSA

Design Partners

Group GSA | Western Sydney Parklands Trust

Awards

Premier's People's Choice Award for Landscape Architecture (2015) | Award for Design in Landscape Architecture (2015)