This structure was entered in the LSA 2007 Design Awards (Cat 2, 2001) Small Fabric Structures
Entrant: Taiyo Membrane Corp (now MakMax), Tattersall Engineering, Minifie Nixon Arch
Client: Zoos Victoria Architect: Minifie Nixon Structural Engineer: Tattersall Engineering
Specialist Consultant(s): Wade Consultants, Taiyo Membrane Corporation
Builder: Behmer and Wright Fabricator(s): Taiyo Membrane Corp
Based in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Healesville Sanctuary wanted an eye-catching structure for the redevelopment of their innovative new native animal hospital and research facility. Design to provide an interactive experience for visitors, the centre uses the innovative membrane surface both as a roof and an enclosure over an internal courtyard.
The design was based on a “costa surface” a mathematical concept for a minimal surface with 3 “ punctures “ that does not intersect itself.
The fabric is a single surface supported by 3 rings upper, mid and lower. The upper and lower rings are supported on sinusoidally shaped legs that are based on the inside of the surface but emerge on the exterior via the punctures.
Gold coloured PVC fabric was chosen by the architect. Structural steel was used for the curved supporting legs as it combined strength and slenderness with the ability to be rolled to the curved shapes required.
Conversion of the mathematical concept to a computer representation using density force methods. Minimal field joints were used.
Construction and Maintenance
Construction sequence: Footing (by builder), erect steel then install fabric. Fabric attached to upper ring, field joints fastened around “legs” and tensioned to lower and mid ring.