The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has served the community well for the past 30 years.
Increases in visitor numbers and the size of the public collection resulted in a need to expand the exhibition spaces and in 2003 an ambitions program of renovation was undertaken to increase the floor area of the exhibition galleries by 25%.
Architect Mario Bellini, in collaboration with Melbourne firm Metier3, won the international design competition to undertake substantial yet sensitive works to enhance and complement Roy Grounds original design.
Adjacent to the Western façade of the building lies the Grimwade Garden, beneath which the car park was converted to curatorial space and art storage. As extra head height was needed in these spaces, requiring the removal of several of the concrete tubs formed by the existing folded slab, substantial works were required replacing large areas of slab and re-landscaping.
Renowned landscape architect, Sinatra Murphy, was quick to enlist the support Ronstan Tensile Architecture to assist with the design and realization of two cable net clad arbours, each set to become a centre piece of the new vertical garden.
The design intent was to provide two artistic green sculptures that were also functional providing shade for the enjoyment of a vibrant new vertical garden environment. The deciduous Wisteria species was chosen to ensure fast coverage of the structure, while allowing patrons to experience the warmth of the sun year round.
Vigorous in nature, Wisteria presented real complexities with regard to plant loads that needed careful consideration and structural support. Ronstan Tensile Architecture’s solution involved the use of ABS1 cables spanning horizontally above and below the roof structure.
Ronstan designed and manufactured custom stainless steel mounts which were fixed to the steel structure. These extra long custom mounts provided the Wisteria with the right amount of space off the structure to allow for optimum growth. ABS2 cables train the species from the beds up to the roof structure and the final product is a beautiful space that provides shelter through the summer months and exposure during winter.
The structures allow the patrons of the NGV to engage with the vertical garden, and the art, in a restful and relaxed environment. Ronstan Tensile Architecture provide a range of design, engineering and project management services to mate with our manufacturing, installation and tensile expertise.