Pitt Street Lighting System

The City of Sydney turned to Ronstan to upgrade Pitt Street Mall's lighting to an energy-efficient catenary system as part of the overall redevelopment at the precinct. The result is a ladder-like series of lights supported by a Ronstan high-tension stainless steel cable framework.

The system illuminates the pedestrian areas below and the facades of the buildings, without needing large self-standing poles or heavy-looking supports. The 16m high tensile cable web is almost invisible, with bowstring support cables anchored every 20 meters into the facades of the buildings along the mall.

The catenary lights themselves comprise long tubes, combining downward illumination and a sequence of LEDs along the vertical length, which can be programmed for different colors depending on seasonal requirements – reflecting specific moods and occasions.

"The applications of tensile architecture are endless, thanks to its complex combination of engineering and design," says Rowan Murray, General Manager of Ronstan Tensile Architecture. "The Pitt Street Mall project is another example of this fact – and of the versatility, reliability and beauty of tensile forms."

The catenary lighting system at Pitt Street Mall comprises a twin longitudinal cable arrangement tied back to the surrounding buildings via spacers and guying cables. 23 customized tube style luminaires (lights) are suspended between 34 Marine Grade type 316 stainless steel ribbon catenary cables. The 1x19 strand cables are designed and manufactured to withstand up to 60 tonnes of tension, while resisting corrosion and stretch.

Pitt Street Mall reopened on December 6, 2012. In addition to Ronstan Tensile Architecture, the Sydney, Australia project team consisted of head contractor Westfield Construction, architect Tony Caro Architecture, cable and structural designers Enstruct Structural & Civil Engineers, building connections engineers Hyder Consulting and electrical contractors FIP Electrical.

Pitt Street Mall Catenary Lighting System - Image 2

  • Client: City of Sydney
  • Head Contractor: Westfield Construction
  • Architects: Tony Caro Architects
  • Cable Structural Design: Enstruct Structural & Civil Engineers
  • Building Connections Engineering: Hyder Consulting
  • Electrical Contractor: FIP Electrical
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