The Canberra Centre shopping complex is a blue chip retail and office development located in the Canberra CBD. It has a long and proud history and was opened as Monaro Mall in March 1963 as Australia’s first fully enclosed air-conditioned retail space under one roof.
Since then, the centre has been consistently updated. In November 2006, it launched the first stage of its $500 million development of Section 84, incorporating an additional 30,000sqm of retail space.
This retail component of the project was completed in August 2007 and now houses a significant suspended lighting sculpture by prominent lighting specialists, Electrolight. The sculpture sits within the focal void space of the shopping centre and was conceived as both an architectural element and functional lighting piece.
Central to the concept are the 300mm diameter coloured glass discs, which distribute both natural and artificial light throughout the void. Ronstan was commissioned to assist with the detailed development of suspending the lighting sculpture.
Cleaning and maintenance requirements were paramount and required the moving and lowering of the structure in order to facilitate the cleaning process in a safe and efficient manner. The process had to protect the integrity of the structure at the same time, and the Ronstan scope included the development of all details and methodology for installation and maintenance.
Ronstan Architectural devised a system that enabled the lowering of the entire suspended light sculpture to a height reachable for service using a winch operated track and cable system, before undertaking the supply and installation of the structure.
The optimized design, with its minimalist and efficient cable and rigging system, ensures that focus on the sculpture is maintained. It helps to emphasize the glass discs providing a “lightness” and transparency unachievable with other suspension methods. The “playfulness of light” referred to in the original Electrolight concept could not have been achieved without the expertise and experience of Ronstan Tensile Architecture and the assistance of our installation partner, Skyworker.