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Penbank Sound Shell
Penbank Sound Shell

Penbank Sound Shell


Project: Penbank Sound Shell
Entrant: Structureflex Pacific – Designer / Fabricator
Location: Penbank School, 460 Tyabb Rd, Moorooduc, Vic

Application: Visually striking and functional shelter and Sound Shell, for School outdoor Performing Arts stage.

This project was entered in the LSAA 2009 Design Awards, Category 1 #1200


Client Brief:

The client brief was limited to a requirement for something “visually striking” in a tight budget. We
provide the client with several concept design options from which the final product was selected.

Given the tight budget it was essential that the support structure be kept to a minimum.

Description and Details:

The PVC membrane is supported by a cable-stayed inclined steel tube “H” frame and short perimeter steel anchor points. The membrane is tensioned with perimeter cable and clamp plate assemblies capable of being tensioned to position. Mehler Haku Type 2 fabric was used.

The main “H” frame allows an unobstructed stage opening and supports lighting and sound systems. The membrane is shaped to reflect sound like a mini music bowl.

Support posts for the side tension cables were arched 2.5m into the ground.

Support cables were designed to maximize the use of the skin supporting steelwork. Cables run back to the main support posts therefore sharing fittings etc. This alleviated the need for additional guy cable supports


The four clamp plates in the central body are in two planes requiring complex 3D Design. Similarly, the guy cable termination points featured mitred posts tops with multiple cleats aligned to 3D reaction force angles. This level of detail design was only possible using precise MPanel software.


Client:                Penbank School
Struct. Eng.:      John Killmister  
Builder:              Shade Living
Fabricator:          Structureflex Pacific