Firbank Grammar Playground Shade Structure
Location: Sandringham VIC
Completion Date: 2013
Size: 126 sqm
Fabric: PVC Hiraoka 212 SAC
Redefining learning spaces, the Firbank Grammar Playground Shade Structure provides an outdoor learning space and recreation zone for students.
Firbank Grammar has been an important part of the Melbourne’s Bayside community for over 100 years, with strong traditions and heritage. Firbank is committed to providing modern and engaging facilities for their students. The school commissioned a new learning hub which aimed to redefine traditional internal learning spaces. Combining new design elements and existing heritage buildings, the playground shade structure at the entrance circulates light and air while providing a shaded weatherproof education and recreation area to facilitate more outdoor learning.
The architectural vision was to utilise materials of different visual texture and translucency to create both a striking aesthetic and to allow a greater light diffusion underneath the canopy. This effect was accentuated by an open bale ring, topped with a clear polycarbonate cover to fully water seal the canopy and provide even higher light transmission.
The Firbank Grammar Playground Shade Structure is created with a Hiraoka 212 SAC PVC coated polyester membrane with an upper oculus of a high translucency Mehler TF400 PVC (fully sealed) mesh fabric.
The seamless polycarbonate bale ring cover improved light transmission at the oculus required careful planning and detailing, particularly as a joint was required in the polycarbonate panel as well as a sealed joint to the membrane. Two clamping lines were used to fix the membrane and polycarbonate sheeting to the bale ring with a weatherproof bridge then being installed across the lines. The result is a hidden detail that ensures no moisture can penetrate through the bale ring
The addition of a creatively styled playground shade structure has provided an outdoor recreation space for young learners at Firbank Grammar.