LSAA 2013 Award of Excellence

Wintergarden Art Façade

Entrant:                     Tensys Engineers Pty Ltd

•      Category:  5    ID Number:  6513

•      Location:                     Queen Street Mall, Brisbane

•      Client:                         Industry Super Property Trust Pty Ltd

•      Completion Date:         April 2012


•      Architect:                    Studio 505

•      Structural Engineer:     Tensys Engineers

•      Builder:                       Brookfield Multiplex

•      Fabricator:                   UAP

Judges Comments:

"Will probably settle in to become a heritage icon in Brisbane."

"Now that's how to disguise a carpark. Makes a great contribution to the public realm. Vivid, joyful - makes excellent use of contemporary steel design and fabrication technology."

6513 02


The vertical façade works is part of the redevelopment of the wintergarden shopping centre..  This façade creates a uniform streetscape, providing a visual barrier to a number of existing carparking levels and different buildings along Queen Street Mall. 


Wintergarden redevelopment architectural façade on Queen, Elizabeth and Edward Street, Brisbane.  The architectural intent of the façade is to create a three dimensional depiction of a winter garden painting  To achieve this, the façade consists of multi layers of rigid cladding supported by a modular structural steel grillage frame.  In addition to the cladding panels, the façade consists of a number of steel frame, stainless steel cald butterflies which cantilever from the grillage.


The design brief was to design a structural support system that can be fabricated in a modular form.  The support system has to be designed in such a way that it does not provide any visual impact to the 3d winter garden ‘painting’. 


The structure was designed as a modular grillage frame of 2.4m x 10m (weighing approximately 3 tonnes each – fully cladded) to enable the economics of scale to produce this abstract painting using a modular system.  Hidden bolted connections are used extensively to enable ease of construction and ensuring uniformity of the winter garden painting.

Limited connections to both the existing 26 storey Harry Seidler’s Hilton Hotel and the 5 storey carpark structure were a challenging design parameter through the project.


The structural system consists of lightweight closed section SHS steel members.  The cladding system consists of a combination of lasercut aluminium and  laser cut stainless steel solid panels.


CAD CAM technology was used extensively to create cutting patterns of the various aluminium and stainless steel cladding panels.  The steel grillage frames were fabricated into 2.4 x 10m modules (for each of transportation in containers).  The cladding panels were fixed onto the steel grillage frames in the factory.  Special lifting lugs and trolleys were developed to ensure ease of site assembly.


The project is the result of a close interdisciplinary collaborative design process between the designers, engineers and fabricators. Extensive prototyping of both individual components and assembled panels were carried out to ensure the quality and architectural finish was achieved.

Tags: LSAAWintergardenArtFaçadeAwardExcellenceTensys