The redevelopment of Whitten Oval formed a pivotal piece in a plan to reinvigorate the western suburbs of Melbourne by providing services and facilities that would promote a sense of community. The plan had involvement from both State and Federal Governments and sought to place Whitten Oval at the centre of the community as a hub for local sporting and health service activities.
The Whitten Stand conversion, designed by Peddle Thorp Architects in Melbourne, called for a feature on the facade that responded to its context, was an identifiable entry, and provided an environmental benefit in the form of shading for the glazed facade behind.
The resulting design was a series of floating panels that would display the team colours of the grounds home AFL team, the Western Bulldogs. The façade feature would run from the first floor to the roof acting as a gateway for supporters.
Ronstan Tensile Architecture was approached by Peddle Thorp to assist with the resolution and detailing of the facade. Our approach was defined by our effort to maintain the architect’s intent while ensuring that the detailing contributed positively to the erection of the panels and the design as a whole.
The first rationalisation was the grid size. This was modified to a dimension that allowed for a continuous detail around the boarder fixings and the panels to realize a dramatic cost saving in erection time by eliminating one off details. The ACS1-SSM08 cable was determined to be the most appropriate minimising the visual bulk of the fittings. Cable cross clamps and cable offsets were custom made to suit the facade.
With a thorough understanding of the facade, Ronstan proved the logical choice when it came to installation of the project and we were engaged by Salta Constructions to do so. Our scope involved the manufacture, supply and installation of the cable net, the suspended panels, and their associated parts. The final product is a facade that proudly displays its team colours.
The “lightness” that could only be achieved with a cable structure creates a signboard for the community like no other, while responding to the environmental issues through the provision of a passive solar control element.