d’Arenberg Cube Umbrellas
Location: McLaren Vale, SA
Completion Date: October 2017
Size: 16 x 5m Canopies
Client: d'Arenberg Winery
The d’Arenberg Cube Umbrellas represent a world-first project. Mounted on hydraulically operated arms, the 16 umbrellas on top of the iconic D’Arenebrg Cube raise into position in a choreographed sequence of movements to provide shade to the one-of-a-kind winery attraction.
The umbrellas were designed to be an architectural feature atop a D’Arenberg Cube, a visitors centre, tasting room and museum attraction at the historic McLaren Vale winery.
The offset angular faces of the building needed to be complimented by umbrellas that were functionally required to provide high levels of shade to a transparent glass roof whilst matching the colour pattern of the roof. Their main supports lie the at the junctions of the clear and white pieces of glass, and each umbrella is not vertical, but are angled to shade the clear glass areas.
Directly below the glass roof is one of the main rooms of the winery tasting rooms and restaurant. The entire arrangement of the umbrellas is designed to functionally shade this space below when open, while remaining hidden when retracted.
The d’Arenberg Cube Umbrellas shelter the building from the bright McLaren Vale sun beaming through the clear glass roof. Each umbrella is electrically operated and retractable, enabling them to fold in and lie down when not in use. The umbrellas can also operate independently, with each set in four quarters.
Each umbrella is 4-5 metres in diameter. The umbrellas don’t sit vertically because the pattern on the sides of the d’Arenberg Cube is also on the roof. The main support for the umbrella lies the at the junctions of the clear and white pieces of glass, and each umbrella is angled to shade the clear glass areas.
The umbrellas will open when the solar heat gain puts pressure on the internal air conditioning. They are manually operated to expand and retract. They can withstand winds of up to 130kms per hour, however they are automatically programmed to retract when the hits 65kms per hour.
This project required extensive research and development. Multiple iterations of prototype umbrellas were required to develop the automatic mechanisms of the umbrellas. The entire arrangement of the umbrellas had to functionally shade this space below when open, while remaining hidden when retracted. The architectural integrity of the design needed to be maintained while ensuring that the umbrellas could fold into individual cradles on the roof. The final design set the units in 3 groups with retraction of each group occurring consecutively.
The umbrella structural system is relatively straightforward with the tensile canopy loads being supported by webbing edges, in turn linked to arms and struts that tie back to a central column. The column was pinned into a housing and tied to a hydraulic ram – this drove the column base laterally and was responsible for standing the unit in a vertical or horizontal configuration. The ram had to be sized to have capacity to lift the unit vertically and resist any additional overturning forces generated by wind loads.
The d’Arenberg Cube Umbrellas were constructed using painted steel supporting fame work, with a PVC membrane canopy. The single red canopy surrounded by 15 black canopies is intended to reflect the colour scheme of the d’Arenberg Winery Logo. Black paint was used to finish the umbrella columns to further enhance the aesthetic appeal.
The d’Arenberg Cube Umbrellas are an architectural crown on the stunning glass puzzle-inspired building, and just one of the many aspects of the d’Arenberg Cube designed to amaze, excite and stimulate your senses. The building is filled with wall-to-wall artwork, a wine inhalation room, two virtual fermenters, and a plethora of sensory experiences.
The collection of 16 “Mary-Poppins” styled umbrellas are designed as an architecturally whimsical feature to the building, while providing patterned shade over the glass roof of the Cube. This is the first time in the world a building has umbrellas on the roof to shade the building itself, and not a deck or grassed area.