Sea World Leviathan

Sea World Leviathan

Project Details

Location: Gold Coast, QLD

Completion Date: December 2021

Size: 130 sqm

Fabric: PVC Ferrari 502V2 – Porcelain Green

Client: Badge Construction and Village Roadshow Theme Parks

Inspired by a whirlpool dragging sailors into the briny depths of the Leviathan’s Ocean lair, we recently installed an inverted funnel-shaped shade structure over the mid-queuing area of Sea World’s newest rollercoaster development.

The Brief

Leviathan, the new wooden roller coaster at Sea World on the Gold Coast, is expected to open in September 2022.  The roller coaster is part of The New Atlantis precinct, a $50 million expansion at the popular Gold Coast Theme Park. The new development features three new attractions and thrill rides; including the impressive wooden roller coaster called Leviathan.

The mighty Leviathan is an incredible wooden lattice structure that supports the train as it races by on the track at high speeds.  Sea World Theme Park visitors can expect to be thrilled as they experience thundering 90 second quest across wooden terrain, through exhilarating turns, drops and dips.

MakMax Australia was approached to design and install a large shade structure to provide shade coverage for patrons while they queued for the Leviathan roller coaster. The client requested a shade canopy over the central queueing area that would not obstruct the view of the ride while still providing sufficient shade coverage.  Located within the roller-coaster framework, the structure needed to be themed to match the overall design aesthetic of the Leviathan to enhance the user experience.

Concept Image for Sea World Leviathan shade structure
Concept Image: Sea World Leviathan

The Concept

The design concept of the new Sea World Leviathan shade structure was inspired by a whirlpool dragging sailors into the briny depths of the Leviathan’s ocean lair.  We designed an inverted funnel-shaped PVC shade structure that is suspended from the central footing, giving a relatively unobstructed view of the ride from the queue. The exposed steel beams supporting the PVC funnel, arch over the queuing thrill seekers like the ribs of a sunken ship and are themed to match similar park elements located at the entrance to The New Atlantis precinct.

Conical shape structure design

The Materials

The 130m2 funnel-shaped shade structure is fabricated with Serge Ferrari 502 PVC fabric in a Porcelain Green, with green-painted steel columns, to match the theme and design of new Sea World Leviathan rollercoaster.

Preliminary design analysis indicated that the preferred Porcelain Green 502 fabric, despite being an ideal colour to match the brief, was not structurally adequate to meet the design and safety requirements. Our solution was to add structural valley cables inside the cone to reduce the span of the fabric. We also added a secondary inner layer of the fabric at the highest stress around the base of the cone for additional strength.

The Result

Overall, the Sea World development has been a 2-year project, with COVID outbreaks and border closures causing major delays to the opening of the new Atlantic Precinct. The slow pace of the overall project presented a challenge for us during the installation of the Sea World Leviathan shade structure. With the coaster being built at the same time, limited site access and a forest of scaffolding supporting the rising monster rollercoaster made install a challenge.  The fabricated steel beams were able to be painted to match the theming of the structure prior to arriving onsite.  Despite a wet summer season, we were fortunate to hit a week of good weather in December and managed to erect the structure quite quickly.

As with all shade construction projects, the most exciting part for us is to finally see our structure in its new completed environment, and we are eagerly waiting for the completion of the Leviathan roller coaster, expected to open in September 2022.

This was a fun and exciting project for us, where we learnt to adapt some of our standard engineering design practices to create a structure using a grade of fabric we initially deemed unsuitable. This will allow us to use the more vibrant PVC colour ranges of fabrics in future projects.


Winner STA Australian Textile Fabrication Industry Awards 2022
Tension Structures – Less than 250sqm

Project Details

Location: Gold Coast, QLD

Completion Date: December 2021

Size: 130 sqm

Fabric: PVC Ferrari 502V2 – Porcelain Green

Client: Badge Construction and Village Roadshow Theme Parks