Perth Stadium Arbour Walkway
Location: Perth WA
Completion Date: December 2017
Client: WA Government
The Perth Stadium Arbour Walkway is a 350m long, architectural tensioned cable-net structure, supporting indigenous inspired artwork panels, crawling vines and plants and feature programmable LED lighting.
In total 43 steel arches, induction bent to unique geometries and finished with tapered connections to ground, support over 14km of stainless steel structural cables. This Engineered cable net then supports over 3,000 folded aluminium artwork panels with perforated patterns and LED lighting.
The aim of this project was to provide access from the Arbour to the new Optus Stadium and to make that experience memorable and distinctive in itself. The Community Arbour was commissioned to facilitate the movement of large numbers of people from public transport ensure whilst providing views of the iconic Stadium in it’s prominent position beside the Swan River.
Working in close partnership with our client and their project Architect, our knowledge of specialist manufacturing combined with our value engineering capabilities enabled us to produce a highly technical structure that matched the original design concept.
Perth Stadium Arbour Walkway comprises is formed with a structural skeleton made up 43 individual arches that range from 15-25m wide and 8-10m tall at the apex. At the ends of the walkway, the arches incline outwards and have the unbalanced cable net forces braced by diagonal struts back to ground creating a flowing, natural look.
Each steel arch was unique with constantly changing radii. The arches were required to appear very light at ground level. Tapered sections were used to achieve this, with induction bending of steel sections used to achieve the complex geometries desired by the project architect. Connections needed to appear seamless; various design details and cover plates were prototyped and reviewed by the project team prior to deciding on the best solution for this project. The end result makes the 25m wide sections appear as though they are a single piece of steelwork with no seams or joins.
A key structural solution was to have variable tension through the transverse cables to allow the longitudinal cables to be kept at a constant distance apart. The cross clamps linking the cables were designed to resist an out-of-balance load to enable this to happen. This engineering element enabled the number of unique panels to be dramatically reduced leading to a large saving in fabrication and installation time.
A scaled prototype of the Perth Stadium Arbour Walkway frame, including a cable net section, panel clamps and 6 artwork panels was built on site for review and sign off by the project team. This led to some detail modifications as we collaboratively workshopped fabrication and erection methodologies consecutively with the architectural finishes. This mock-up also gave the lighting team a testing bed to trial different types of lighting and programming equipment and to quickly visualize how this would appear on the final project.
The artwork panels were made from perforated and folded aluminium, chosen for its lightness, workability and excellent corrosion resistance given the location. Anodizing of the panels was chosen to achieve the colour required; this was a large challenge on the project as consistency of coloured anodizing through 3,500 panels was difficult to control. Powdercoating would have been more reliable for colour, but the risk of damage to painted panels on site during installation was high and anodizing provided the most durable finish for the project.
The cable net, fittings and clamps were stainless steel grade 316 and passivated for superior corrosion resistance – essential given the waterfront location.
The Perth Stadium Arbour Walkway design enhances the commute to the Stadium and the recreational uses of the space that the area was a world-class venue. It complements the landscaped environment and Stadium as a visually appealing structure while ensuring functionality and durability. The open and flowing design enable users to have broad vistas of the Stadium, Swan River and CBD skyline.