These Small Structure Projects were entered into the 2018 LSAA Design Awards in Category 1

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1709 Oran Park Library.

1160  Mandura Fishing Pier Shade Structure.

1405 West End Common.

1400  Ryde Shopping Centre Travelator Canopy.

1431 Bondi Pavillion.

1900 Randwick Golf Club Canopy


These Medium Structure Projects were entered into the 2018 LSAA Design Awards in Category 2

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2023 Capital Square Podium.

2070 Knox Grammar School

2107 Carousel Shade Structures.

2431 Hyper Coaster Queueing Canopies.


These Shadecloth Projects were entered into the 2018 LSAA Design Awards in Category 3

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3136 Yeppoon Shade Structures.

3232 Scarborough Foreshore.

These Large Structure (>1000sqm) Projects were entered into Category 4 2018 LSAA Design Awards

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4001 Macquarie University Campus Common.

4066 QUT Sports Field Car Park.

4100 Sumartran Tiger Adventure.

4101 Wellington Regional Bowling Club.

4431 Marrara Tennis Centre.

4432 Playford Bowls Club Triple Bowls Green Cover.

4433 Inglis Selling Centre Warwick Farm Racecourse.

These Projects from 2018 LSAA Design Awards - Category 5 Glazing and Facades

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5085 Velodrome Façade

5431 RNA Brisbane Large Animal Pavillion.

5594 Federation Square Stage Canopy

5627 Monash (Caulfield Campus) Library Shade House

These Projects from LSAA 2018 Design Awards - Category 6 Collaboration

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6123 Home of the Arts Outdoor Stage.

6431 Perth Stadium Tensile Membrane Roof.

These Special Applications from LSAA 2018 Design Award Entries

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7235 Westfield Chermside Redevelopment.

7431 D'Arenberg Winnery Cube Umbrellas.

7432 Perth Stadium Arbour Walk 

7627 Somewhere Other – Venice Biennale Structure

7700 Dual Skin Safety Net System


Lightweight structures are typically used to support large surface areas such as roofs for stadia and other sporting facilities.

They are also used for large span wall elements such as high tech glazing.

The Projects section of the website has the following categories (see sub-menu or the links below):


Small Fabric Structures: Typically these may be of a plan area of 250 square metres or less. They are often used as shade structures or as signature items at entrances to larger buildings.

Other applications include the provision for a shaded area in playgrounds, school yards, car dealerships and as internal sculptures.

They may be made from coated fabrics as a water-proof barrier or of open fabric such as knitted shade cloth.

The following articles are in random order:

In terms of our LSAA Design Awards, a Medium sized Fabric Structure, or tensioned membrane structure) would have a surface area of between 250 and 1000 sqm.

Note that many "Large" fabric structures may be made from individual fabric panels of 250-1000 sqm.

Again, a large Mall covering might comprise multiple conical structures of 250-1000 sqm.

The following articles are in random order:

These structures may be described as single surfaces or panels in the form of one of the classic hypars, barrel vaults, cones, panels with single or crossing arches - or a combination.

Larger fabric structures can also be made from several modules or panels of similar forms to build up a substantial sized structure. The multiple panels might be arranged in a linear layout, or in a circular or oval pattern commonly found in stadia roofs.

The LSAA has a Design Award Category for Large Structures which has been defined as being greater than 1000 sqm.

The following articles are in random order:

Sports complexes including athletics, swiming, cycling, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, hockey and other large enclosures.

These structures will often involve tensioned membrane roof panels, large span trusses, arches, cablenets or other forms of lightweight structures.

The following articles are in random order:

Projects in this category include non-prestressed structures such as domes and shells made from more traditional materials like concrete.

Prestressed structures may include saddle shaped cablenets, planar wall or roof glass surfaces supported by a stressed cable network.

Externally supported roofs (cable supported) also come into this category.

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Interesting lightweight footbridges such as cable stayed or curved forms.
May also include heritage bridges that have been converted into footbridges.

The following articles are in random order:

There are several categories of "shade" structures which typically are constructed from knitted shadecloth in varying degrees of shade factor.

Shade structures for sun / hail and wind protection of large nurseries have been common in Australia since the mid 1980s.

Similar shade structures utilizing seat belt webbing as edge cables have been applied to protect cars from sun and hail in Australia, USA, South Africa and other regions.

Since the increased awareness of UV related issues, there has been many shade panels installed in playgrounds and schools. 

There is a larger number of contractors operating in the supply of domestic and small scale shadecloth structures and the pricing competition on these systems has often lead to unsafe cost cutting measures being taken. In many cases structures have been built without certification by a competent structural engineer. There has been many cases where footings and cantilevered columns are totally inadequate for the horizontal loads generated. 

Another issue is the large deflections of these structures under hail loads and wind. Often there is very small amounts of fabric prestress.

Generally made from separate panels of knitted shadecloth to provide a degree of shade and hail protection.

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Lightweight geometric forms filling an internal space generally with no applied environmental loads - from wind, rain or snow - but usually a small amount of prestress.

Iconic projects which have required a considerable degree of collaboration between stakeholders.

This is a Category (6) introduced into the LSAA Design Awards in 2013

The following articles are in random order:

Designers of lightweight structures can be at the cutting edge of innovation and explore new applications.

The LSAA has a "special applications" category for this reason.

The following articles are in random order:

Lightweight structures are increasingly being applied to facades of buildings and may take the form of high-tech glazing, shade or heat controlling double surfaces.

Laser cut metal panels can be used to good artistic effects.

Some projects are termed "canopys" such as outdoor stage covering and they may be listed here or under Small, Medium or Large (fabric) structures.