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Piara Waters
Piara Waters

Piara Waters


Project entered in the LSAA 2016 Design Awards (Shadecloth Structures #3225)

Entrant: Fabritecture (Designer and Installer)

Location: Armadale, WA.   Completed: July 30 2014  Client: McCorkell Constructions
Team: Donovan Payne Architects, Greenup Design International, Fabritecture, Fabric Solutions Australia

Application: Shade structure designed to cover an alfresco and playground area as part of the Stage 2 works of a new Sporting Pavilion

The images below were taken by James Simmons Portrait and Wedding Photography



This project was developed as part of a new sporting pavilion that incorporates a playground and alfresco dining area. The purpose of the shade structure was to link the playground and alfresco area to give the illusion of being 2 structures, when it is in fact one steel framing design. The design incorporates a barrel vault structure (covering 95.1m2) and a saddleback structure (covering 82.8m2) for a total combined plan area of 177.9m2. The chosen fabric for the structure was shade cloth.

Design Brief

The client requested the design, fabrication and installation of a tensioned mesh fabric structure.

Structural Systems

The most complex and unique component of the project lay in the steel framing design. The structure is supported off block walls at one end, then extends out onto main supports to meet the saddleback structure.

Our scope included the design of the complete structure; however the builder provided the steel framework. Therefore detailing of the shop drawings and steel design was crucial.


Monotec 370 shade cloth was the chosen fabric in the colour ‘Chino’. This shade cloth was chosen due to the colour, strength of the tensile, and its 15 year manufacturer’s warranty. The fabric supplier/manufacturer was Proknit. Standard industry stitching of Monotec 370 shade cloth was used for this project.

We were not responsible for the steel fabrication on this project.

Collaboration, Construction and Maintenance

It was necessary to collaborate with the builder, architect and steel fabricator for this project as we were not responsible for delivery of the steel.  The steelwork geometry proved too complex for the steel fabricator due to the complex fabric form, work points and cable connections, so we were forced to take control of the 3D model.

We completed the steelwork model then issued it back to the fabricator with all of the steelwork and fabric connection modelled into position.

Lightweight shade structures were a new experience for the builder, which was meant collaboration was a learning process for all. It was important to convey an understanding for the fabric and coordination with the steel fabricator in order to achieve the client request.

Costs and Conclusions

The most challenging element of the project lay in coordination of the steel fabrication component to ensure the fabric fitted perfectly. This was achieved, which resulted in a very happy client. The structure took 210 man hours to complete, and successfully delivers the aesthetic illusion of 2 structures, when in fact it is one, creating a link between the playground and alfresco area.