The new extension to the Michie Building at University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus was constructed to support two galleries; the Anthropology Museum (one of the largest collections of Australian ethnic objects in the world), as well as UQ’s smaller Antiquities museum.
These galleries were hidden within the old building, but are now celebrated, with high public visibility and attraction with the striking tensile facade. Architecturally designed by Wilson Architects, the facade was envisaged to be a large mass structure – with its main feature being lightweight and transparent.
Ronstan Tensile Architecture was engaged as pivotal partners to deliver this design idea, developing a minimal and economical structural solution to suspend the facade with support elements that become lost in the facade itself. We engineered an ARS3 rod support structure with custom cable braces for stability. These stainless steel vertical rods hold the aluminium frames that carry the coloured aluminium battens, resolving the self-weight of the screens, and the lateral loads from wind that the screen will be subject to. Ronstan Tensile Architecture completed installation in January 2014.
Exterior facade images courtesy of Wilson Architects.