Just a short note to say that Boxing Day is a day of sporting highlights in Australia - as well as a lot of mahem at the sales.

The first day of the third cricket test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground - The "G" - saw a crowd of some 73,000 watch a slow scoring day on a flat pitch. India batting.

Also Boxing Day is the start of the annual Sydney to Hobart classic ocean yacht race.

From a lightweight structures viewpoint we have the extensive roof structures at the cricket. Also the fast sailing machines with their composite lightweight hulls, prestressed tensile rigging, tensioned fabric sails precisely cut to give a form to generate maximum driving force.

In recent years we have twin rudders and canting keels to maximize the functions of these appendages and in doing so further reduce the weight of the boats.

Some of the super-maxis have very large beams to enhance the planning ability and effects of the crew as ballast. 

What an iconic venue in the Kings Domain in Melbourne!

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This is a unique tensile cablenet structure was designed by Barry Patten of the Architectural firm Yuncken Freeman Brothers, Griffiths and Simpson. Engineering was done by Irwin Johnstone.

The venue is named after Sidney Myer, a Russian immigrant who arrived in Melbourne in 1899 and establish Myers. He also started an annual Music for the People with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1929. He was an important philanthropist and wanted a more permanent home for these annual performances. The setting in the Botanical Gardens would be used for the "Bowl" which was opened in 1959 some 25 years after his death.

For the LSAA, the structure can be regarded as a huge leap forward in freeform tensile architecture. It remains perhaps the largest auditorium for concerts. It was at least a decade ahead of the cablenet structures of the better known Frei Otto who developed freeform cable structures for the 1967 Expo in Montreal and later the best known roof for the main stadium for the 1972 Munich Olympics.

In Sydney for the past 35 or so years there has been great free pre-Christmas Concerts for families.

The event is held in the Domain, and each year the quite large stage and the canopy is erected.

The founding President of the then MSAA (now the LSAA) was largely responsible for developing the canopy concept.

Vinzenz Sedlak started with a lycra model at a scale of 1:100 and envisaged four masts located near each corner of the stage. Diagonal cross cables spanned between the opposite mast heads and a long front edge cable gave an uninterrupted view of the stage area.

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Congratulations to India for winning the first test of the 2018 summer season. Next is to start later this week in the brand new 60,000 seat Optus Stadium in Perth. Best wishes to both teams. The Optus stadium roof structure had considerable input from two of our LSAA Members - Arups and MakMax.

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More details of this project can be found HERE

A great Conference Dinner and Design Awards Function was held.

Results will be published shortly but many of the entries can be seen under the Awards menu

Congratulations to New Zealand for the terrific result in winning back the America Cup.

The boats truly represent a pinnacle in terms of Lightweight Structures:

  • superlight and stiff fabrics used for sails
  • elaboarte cutting patterns to achieve the desired three dimensional shapes in the sails
  • orientation of the fabric to resist stresses and maintain the profiles to generate maximum driving forces
  • like many fabric structures, the wind loadings are the dominant load case
  • very flexible supporting systems from high tech materials
  • minimal weights and reliance on moving ballast etc.

In 2013 the LSAA had their Conference in Auckland and we were fortunate to have a presentation about the 2013 NZ efforts.

Well done guys.