For well over a century, Manly Corso has been the undisputed hub of Manly village life. Stretching from Manly Wharf to Main Beach Sydney, The Corso today remains the centre of commercial, social and cultural activity, but this wasn’t always the case.
Despite Manly’s iconic tourist appeal, the early 1960’s development of a new and vibrant shopping and commercial district in neighbouring Warringah Mall tested the resolve of the local Manly traders and threatened The Corso itself.
In 2006/7, Manly Council commissioned a complete upgrade of The Corso to improve infrastructure, operational aspects of The Corso including cleaning and events management, and to reinvigorate the commercial and recreational use of this premier mall and public space.
With this concept in mind, the Council approached Ronstan Tensile Architecture to assist with the development and execution of a complex suspended catenary lighting system that would open the space and create a distinct and inviting atmosphere.
The Corso solution had to overcome a number of design challenges, not the least of which was the need for a design that transferred the high loads of the cable net to façades that in some cases date to the late 1800’s. The load carrying capacity of each building was hydraulically tested to ensure the integrity of the façade would be maintained once the net was tensioned.
With the low net height governed by the mating buildings, the cable net also had to be engineered around existing trees and a substantial number of mature plantings. In another “first,” The Corso cable net also enabled the suspension and positioning of a vast new security surveillance network.
Our installers, Architectural Rigging Services, assembled the cable net, ensuring that high access equipment did not damage newly laid pavers or impede pedestrian traffic during daylight and evening hours. The Ronstan Tensile Architecture “grid” catenary cable net facilitates the illumination of an area of 7000m².
Ronstan’s understanding of the elastic and inelastic performance of cables was paramount to the success of this project. The result: the largest catenary lighting structure in Australia.