Stretching 92 storeys above the southern bank of the Yarra River, Eureka Tower built by Grocon is the one of the latest editions to Melbourne’s sky line. With its clean lines and chiselled aesthetic, and measuring up at just over 300m tall, the multi award winning tower is destined to become a Melbourne icon.
The ‘Skydeck’, developed by Redrock Leisure and designed by Maddision Architects, includes the ground level foyer / pavement area, Level 88 Observation Deck, and Level 89 Bar / Function area. At 285m above street level, the observation deck is Melbourne’s highest publicly accessible vantage point.
When developing the concept for the observation deck area, Maddison Architects, were keen to create an open feel in which the visitor felt engaged with the view. To achieve this, Ronstan Tensile Architecture was contracted to supply and install a Carl Stahl X-TEND stainless steel tensile mesh barrier screen, running floor to ceiling, to replace the glass in two areas of the Level 88 façade.
Cahl Stahl X-TEND® tensile mesh is a fleixible stainless steel screen mesh which is effectively a tensioned membrane. The safety mesh selected for this project was constructed from Ø2mm grade 316 stainless steel cable with a 60mm nominal opening. This combination provided sufficient strength to ensure that the safety screen mesh would be able to resist wind loads and the load of guests pushing and pulling at the screen. It also minimises the ability for the patrons to climb on the mesh. The screen is continuous and runs around the southern ‘beak’ of the façade. It is supported on all four sides by a stainless steel tubular steel frame. At the corner a Ø12mm cable was installed to provide additional support to the mesh as it curves around the bend.
During the concept development phase, Ronstan Tensile Architecture provided design assistance to help co-ordinate the details with the architect and the project structural engineer. It was particularly important to ensure that the tube detail and the fixing detail for the tube back to structure were compatible with the safety screen mesh selected. Ronstan engaged its own consultant to perform computer modelling of the mesh. This was undertaken to accurately determine the loads that the mesh would apply to the supporting structure. It was also used to accurately predict the deflection that would be expected in the security mesh in the event of sustained loading applied by the public.
During the installation phase, one of the major challenges was to provide a safe working environment for our installer, Architectural Rigging Services. After careful consideration by all parties, this was achieved by modifying the temporary screens and installing the screen mesh from the inside. Due to the potential for strong and gusty winds on the exposed deck, special procedures also needed to be developed regarding the handling of tools and materials, and access to the deck was strictly controlled. The result is the world’s highest Carl Stahl X-TEND tensile mesh installation and another inspiring Ronstan Tensile Architecture project.