Perth Children's Hospital

LSAA 2016 Design Award Entry by Fabritecture (Designer and Installer)

Location: Subiaco, WA.   Completed: July 30 2015

Client: John Holland Group

Team: JCY Architects, Greenup Design International, Fabritecture, Textile Fabrication Services, Fabritecture

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APPLICATION OF PROJECT:

Highly interactive artistic and architectural shade canopies, featuring intricately designed complex steel geometry and custom fabric patterns to work with the exciting environment of the children’s playground.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Perth Children’s Hospital project involved the design and construction of an intricate structural shade solution as an addition to an outdoor children’s play area for the hospital. The project was part of a redevelopment initiative to replace the existing Princess Margaret Hospital facility.

The new Perth Children’s Hospital intends to host local and internationally recognised organisations for paediatrician, clinical research and tertiary learning.

 

The client requested a creative and artistic architectural shade solution for the playground in the new Children’s Hospital. The shade structures were required to be effective at protecting from the elements, while also incorporating the surrounding infrastructure and environment to compliment the final finish of the overall redevelopment.

The interactive nature of the playground required the structures to be colourful, engaging and fun, matching the hospital’s architectural colour scheme. The design specified canopies that were intricate in detail, yet happy and fun for the kids.

Creative fabric patterning using many different fabric colours and complex steel geometry with tight radiuses were combined to meet the brief.

 

The structural system is comprised of a complex steel structure with the fabric tensioned and fixed to the top side of the steelwork. Due to the artistic nature of the design, a major challenge was curvature within the geometry of steelwork. Due to the tight radiuses required for the steelwork we tested curbing the CHS member to determine what wall thickness was required to avoid excess deformation during the bending process. Connection details also had to be considered in particular locations and based on overall sizes so shipping and erection was efficient.

The patterning of the fabric was completely unique to match the architect’s specified colour scheme. This required a detail patterning of 8 different colours of fabric to achieve the architects desired colour pattern. It was crucial to ensure that smaller patterns aligned so that the fabric nested into the roll widths effectively to minimise wastage and maximise usage, and to ensure the weft and warp lined up correctly for each piece.

Extra planning and coordination of machinery for installation was required, as the canopy structures were installed around the existing playground landscape, which was complicated and varied in heights. This was also due to the height of the site and limited accessibility. Extra protection and attention to detail was required in order to protect the high-gloss paintwork coating of the steel. The steel had to be crane-lifted to level 2 from the street and ground levels. The steel was packed and braced into containers with careful consideration prior to shipment and delivery to protect the high gloss paintwork and avoid damage.

The fabric chosen for the canopies was sourced from Serge Ferrari Stamisol FT381 using 8 different colours of fabric to match the colour scheme of the hospital. This fabric was chosen primarily for longevity properties of the fabric, as well as available colour choice. A mesh fabric was ideal due to its ability to provide shade without completely blocking out natural light.

Curved CHS structural steel was used for the steelwork, mainly to support architectural intent.

Steelwork Fabrication: Due to the extremely complicate geometry we fully trial assembled every structure during the fabrication process to ensure correct geometry, fabrication and fit-up onsite.

Fabric Fabrication: Due to the shear number of individual patterns in each canopy and the tiny size of some of the patterns our fabricator chose to stitch each panel together after each pattern was cut on the CNC cutter plotter.

Collaboration was achieved during the design process by sharing 3D models of the structure and inserting these into the 3D model of the concrete structure. We also produced colour 3D drawings of the fabric colour patterns to convey the pattern of each structure.

Maintenance involves 12 monthly full inspections and cleaning of the structures.

The client is tremendously pleased with the end result, and the structures met the brief. The kids (and adults) will love the structures (the hospital is still not open).

The end results are stunning architectural canopies that are kid-friendly and interactive. The colourful fabrics and complex steel geometry create truly eye-catching structures.

The design of the canopies was developed to be functional, yet interactive and stimulating for the kids using the playground beneath them. The canopies emphasise the commitment of the Hospital and its facilities to the kids that use them.

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