Award for Excellence 2019, Tension Structures - 250sqm to 2000sqm

The Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular wildlife park on the Gold Coast, QLD. Funded by the National Trust, we were contracted for the design and construction of a new exterior shade structure for their famous bird show. 
The area consists of an outdoor amphitheatre that recently underwent a significant redevelopment to cater to the ever growing popularity of the bird show. Part of this redevelopment included upgrading the existing structure to a much larger shade solution that also complimented the renovations of the area.

The purpose of this project was to replace the existing smaller shade structure with a much larger structure that could cater to the ever growing audience of the free flight bird show, Wildskies.

We actually won the project based on the design we submitted which was best suited to the bird show. The client had requested full weatherproof coverage to the bird show amphitheatre. The solution also needed to take into consideration the birds which fly freely above the audience under the structure. The new structure needed to provide ample clearance for the birds as well as completely protect the audience from the weather.
One of the most important aspects of the structure’s design was the arch at the front which was suspended on columns. This allowed the appropriate clearances for the birds to fly under the structure and over the crowd.

 As mentioned above, it was important that the structure’s design take into consideration the clearances needed for the birds to be able to safely fly freely beneath the structure and avoid coming too close to the audience. The arch was integral in achieving this shape.
It was hard to get the geometry right for the ponding of the canopy considering the slope of the terrain in which it was installed. The structure is like a large hypar, however due to the increasing slope of the terrain, there is no significant high and low points. Therefore, particular time was spent on the geometry of the structure to make sure it didn’t pond.

The client has let us know that the birds love it! The structure is a much improved upgrade to the amphitheatre that guests, employees and birds can enjoy!

Is there any other relevant information about this project that has not been covered in the above questions? Prior to the renovation of the amphitheatre, the bird show was the most popular and sought after show in the park. Since the new shade structure has been installed and the renovations completed, the show has become even more popular!

The large crowds can now enjoy the bird show in superior comfort.