State Football Centre WA Grandstand Roof
Location: Queens Park WA
Completion Date: March 2023
Size: 500 sqm
Fabric: PTFE - Chukoh FGT800
A new home for the world game in WA, the State Football Centre WA will become the new base of operations for Football West. Offering training facilities and playing fields to support grassroots, community, and high-performance football programs, the State Football Centre will also include a multi-story grandstand with a capacity for 700 spectators. Crowning the grandstand seating is an architecturally designed grandstand roof, featuring radiating glulam timber beams supporting a high-translucency PTFE tensile membrane.
A brand-new development funded by the WA State and Commonwealth Governments, The State Football Centre WA will be a home for Football West’s day-to-day administration and include training facilities and playing fields to support grassroots, community, and high-performance football programs. In addition to the two competition and training pitches, the scope also included a multi-story grandstand with a capacity for 700 spectators.
Crowning the grandstand seating is an architecturally designed fabric roof, featuring radiating Glulam timber beams supporting a high-translucency PTFE tensile membrane. The flexible nature of the PTFE allows the roof geometry to undulate along its length.
We worked with the project architect in the pre-tender phase to help design the grandstand roof structure, helping them to understand the technical possibilities of tensile membranes and how they can be incorporated with wooden elements into an architectural feature.
We proposed interfacing the membrane and wood elements via the addition of a discrete lightweight steel substructure running along the topside of the glulam beams to hide the membrane connections further enhancing the aesthetics from underneath. The addition of a lightweight steel tension frame also helps protect the longevity and internal strength of glulam beams by requiring less bolt-holes drilled into the beams.
PTFE is a popular tensile membrane in similar sized Government-funded public works and sporting stadiums due to its superior durability, low-maintenance self-cleaning properties, and 50-year+ expected design life.
The secondary steelwork frame was made up of tubular steel beams (galvansized for corrosion protection), which were then bolted to the top side of the pre-installed glulam wooden beams. In order to accentual the undulating nature of the roof and maintain tension in the membrane, most of the steel beams are raised on upstands approximately 200mm to 300mm above the beam. The steel beams where connections occur are bolted flush to the topside of the beam for additional anchor strength. This alternating height adds to the gentle rise and fall to the roof from an aesthetic viewpoint, and as a practical consideration, they raise the membrane away from the rough edges of the top-side corners of the wooden rafters.
The steel supporting beams where the membrane is connected were fabricated with cleats to bolt the aluminium extrusions (which clamp onto the rope edge of the membrane) in place. The 66-metre-long roof is fabricated in 3 panels, with the two field-joints covered in a PTFE weather-strip to fully seal the roof.
The final result of State Football Centre WA grandstand roof beautifully juxtaposes the wood and fabric elements. The lightweight nature of the fabric means that minimal loading is placed on the wooden beams. The beams are secured and supported from above by cantilever trusses making them appear to float above the spectators when seen from below.