Designers of lightweight structures can be at the cutting edge of innovation and explore new applications.

The LSAA has a "special applications" category for this reason.

The following articles are in random order:


Architectural and functional shade provision for the rooftop of an iconic cubic wine-tasting building at D’Arenberg Winery SA.


Design, fabrication and installation of a world-first collection of 16 x 5 metre multi-coloured architectural and functional umbrellas providing patterned shade over the roof of an iconic “cubic” wine-tasting pavilion at the D’Arenberg Winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia. The “mary-poppins” styled umbrellas were required to be supplied with an automatic opening function to assist in reducing building heat load; and also to automatically close during in high wind. The retraction system needed to not only to close the umbrellas, but to also lay them fully flat on the cube’s roof.


Entry for LSAA 2007 Design Awards
Award of Excellence (Special Applications)

Counter Observation Barrier Screen - Counter Terrorist

Entrant:  Alfresco Shade
Client:  SAAB Barracuda Australia
Structural Engineer: Ian Norrie (Bond James Norrie), John Williams (Hughes Truman)
Specialist Consultant(s): SAAB Sweden
Builder: Alfresco Shade
Fabricator(s): Alfresco Shade

Aside from the images below, no further details have been entered for this project.



Cable-net arbour walkway incorporating artwork panels, vines & foliage and feature lighting, linking the New Perth Stadium with the parklands precinct and the main transport infrastructure hubs of Swan River Pedestrian Bridge and the Stadium Train Station.


A 350m long architectural tensioned cable-net structure, supporting indigenous inspired artwork panels, crawling vines and plants and feature programmable LED lighting. The Arbour walkway was designed to guide the major pedestrian flows on game day from the main transport hubs at either side of the stadium precinct. The cable-net structure snakes around half of the stadium and is supported by bespoke steel arches with tapered bases. In total over 3,500 artwork panels, perforated with designs inspired by local indigenous groups, are supported by nearly 15km of stainless steel cables and clamps. At the bases of the arches, vines and crawling plants grow from garden beds and in time will rise up and over the precinct pathways below.

LSAA 2018 Design Awards AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - Category 7 Special Applications


Custom Lightweight Architectural Structure with aluminium cladding


As part of the Westfield Chermside AUD$355 million redevelopment, we were contracted for the fabrication and construction of a large scale custom aluminium retail structure, and subsequently, a porte cochère entry structure. The aluminium structure is called the ‘Urchin’ as the distinctive shape resembles the round, jagged edges of a sea urchin. The design intent behind the structure was to create a main focal area for the redevelopment and a “meeting point” for the centre. The area below the Urchin is used for events and entertainment, thanks to its amazing programable LED lighting system integration. The Urchin is our first large architectural structure that does not include any fabric.

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Innovative architectural alternative to Safety Hoarding for the construction industry


The Dual-Skin Safety Netting Structure made from tensioned fabric is changing the way the construction Industry looks at traditional hoarding and safety nets. 

Using architectural fabrics and tension membrane engineering outside the square to provide aesthetic cost saving safety control measures. 

By providing a safety net structure that could protect the public from the works above saved the client almost 1 million in overtime costs when they would usually be working a night.  This solution provided the client the ability to work during the day without closing down the area with the exclusion zones.  Prior to the solution, the client could only do these works at nighttime as this project is in one of the largest high-rise buildings in the Sydney CBD. 

LSAA 2018 Design Awards HIGH COMMENDATION - Category 7 Special Applications


Art Architecture Installation


Subjects of continual exploration in the work of, portals to frame views and establish connections between buildings and their context. This project extends this function further - a calibrated device and a long lens between Venice and Australia. Looking through these portals will introduce the viewer to the buildings of John Wardle Architects, landscapes of Australia, and the craft of several collaborators that were central to realising the work.