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Scarborough Foreshore Shade Structures
Scarborough Foreshore Shade Structures

Scarborough Foreshore Project (LSAA Design Awards 2018)


Award of Excellence: LSAA 2018 Design Awards Shadecloth Category (3232)


A series of bespoke architectural shade structures


Our scope of the Scarborough Foreshore project included the design & construction of three steel-framed arbour structures that were to be installed as part of a regional redevelopment of Scarborough.

The structures are comprised of 31 architectural ‘tree-like’ stands that support the mesh & realise the architectural vision of the structures. They are placed along the South beachfront, North beachfront, and Intergenerational Plaza of Scarborough


Photo Credit: Photography Project



The overall redevelopment was funded by the State Government and the City of Stirling, covering a site that was 100 hectares. The master plan included the construction of a playground, skate park, and an upgrade to the beach front promenade.

The client requested 3 architectural shade structures along the beachfront that followed the architect’s design intent, and proudly reflected Scarborough’s strong heritage of surf, beach and skate culture. The structures comprised of 31 architectural ‘tree’ columns with a complex cabling system to support brightly patterned mesh fabric, electrical cabling & future plant growth.


The 90 tonne of steelwork on this project was extremely complex due to the geometry required to achieve the architect’s vision. Each canopy is supported by unique tree-shaped structural columns that are designed to be leaning on an angle, mimicking the surrounding wind-swept trees at Scarborough Beach.


The patterning of the fabric is an artwork in itself. A mesh fabric from the Monotec 370 series was chosen for the shade structures in vibrant colours Abaroo Red, Mellow Haze and Sherbert, with short strips of Domino coloured fabric sewn into the fabric panels to form a pattern provided by the client.


Due to the complex geometry of the structures, all three structures were trial assembled at the steel fabricators yard at fit up stage and prior to painting to ensure the steel installation would go to plan without any alignment issues.

Each tree column is made up of 8 curved steel trunks that are fabricated as one piece. The canopy steel is also very complex due to the curved nature of the geometry and the tight radiuses of the edge beams. In order to achieve the small radiuses, the wall thickness of the 168mm CHS members needed to be increased to reduce the amount of deformation present after rolling.


Due to the complex geometry all steelwork was assembled during fabrication and fit up before welding. With final welding completed, one structure was fully assembly on the factory floor. Once complete, the structure was dismantled for hot dip galvanizing and painting using a metallic paint system.

As the geometry of the steel was very unique it also made the logistics of transport more complex and we had to make special plans to safeguard against the risk of damage to the metallic paint. Complex packing plans were developed by us, and stringent inspections were undertaken to ensure the plans were followed. This extra effort ensured the steel arrived free of any major damage with the metallic paintwork still intact.

As with most of our architectural projects, we went the extra mile to provide seamless cover plates to cover all steel connections, giving the structure the extra special finish it deserved.


Within the trees, a complex cabling system was installed to allow future plant growth on the arbour structures. 378 x 3-millimetre cable assemblies are looped through the steel at 4,536 locations to further support plant growth up and around the steel columns. 31 x 8-millimeter tension cable assemblies are fixed to the structure along the fabric perimeter.


Entrant:  Fabritecture
Role played by Entrant:  Designer / installer

Location:  Scarborough, WA 
Completed:   January 2018

Client:  City of Stirling

Architect:  Chaney Architecture
Engineer:  Wade Design Engineers
Builder:  Georgiou Group
Fabricator:  Fabric Solutions Australia

Photo Credits: Photography Project

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