The Federation Square development is a true reflection of the city of Melbourne, offering rich cultural experiences, a variety of places to eat and drink, unique shopping and a wealth of information to welcome visitors.
Housing the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection of Australian art, a 450 seat theatre, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and the Australian Racing Museum, it is certainly a place where cultures and people meet.
But the civic and spatial heart of “Fed Square” is the square itself, a place where 15,000 people can meet at all hours in an open amphitheatre. So why has this iconic square become Melbourne’s meeting place?
Sure, Fed Square is unique in that it provides a cultural centre and connects the diverse context of the city with the surrounding urban and riverside landscapes, but there is more to its universal appeal. For one thing, its “openness” offers a natural drawcard. Like all cities where urban density threatens open space, well lit and unobstructed spaces like Fed Square are seen as welcoming and safe, and serve to extend the useable hours of the space itself.
The Fed Square catenary lighting system played a big part in this. By lighting the area and thereby pinpointing landscape features, the system creates a unique and inviting ambience.
Multiplex approached Ronstan Tensile Architecture to detail and execute what represented the first major utilization of a tensile cable net for the suspension of commercial outdoor lighting in Australia. Expert in tensile solutions, Ronstan developed the “random” cable net with ring cable connections to provide luminaire suspension points exactly where street lights were required. This enabled the catenary system to be focussed on the many levels and complex landscape features of the square, extending its utilization into the evening hours without the hindrance or limitations of support poles.
Our installers, McDonald Rope and Rigging, utilized Ronstan components and tensile cables to install the catenary lighting system, which is now recognized worldwide as a premier example of the use of suspended lighting to create atmosphere and maximize the utilization of public areas.