Taking pride of place within Perth’s Optus Stadium Park is the Arbour featuring a stainless steel cable net canopy delivered by ASSDA Member Structural Dynamics.
The 60,000-capacity arena is the latest major development to hit Western Australia’s capital, boasting a world-class multi-purpose venue that combines innovative design with community infrastructure.
The impressive Arbour stands 10m tall and 20m wide, and stretches 450m around the south side of the Stadium. It connects a new six-platform railway station to the Swan River, over which the Matagarup Bridge is currently being constructed to provide pedestrian access to East Perth.
Over a thousand stainless steel cables were installed on the 43 arches that make up the Arbour to create a tensile structure in the form of a canopy. Suspended on the structure using bespoke fittings are 3,076 bronzed artwork panels reflecting Whadjuk and Noongar stories.
Stadium Park was constructed on wetlands with cultural heritage significance to the Indigenous community, and its rich Aboriginal history was the inspiration behind the Arbour’s design.
More than 13 tonnes of grade 316 stainless steel was used, including in excess of 14km of 16mm and 8mm hammaTM X 1x19 wire rope supplied by ASSDA Member Arcus Wire Group, 20,000 bespoke fittings and over 34,000 screws.
Stainless steel was specified for the cable net canopy for its strength and durability to withstand the harsh Western Australian weather conditions, including powerful coastal winds driven from the Indian Ocean. The 16mm edge cables on the structure were tensioned to forces up to 52kN, with the 8mm longitudinal and transversal cables tensioned up to maximum of 11kN.
In addition, the high quality and aesthetical value of stainless steel complemented the Arbour’s design in creating an eye-catching structure for patrons.
Structural Dynamics provided value engineering and practical advice to the project engineer Maffeis Engineering and project architect Hassell on how to best integrate stainless steel tensile systems into the design.
Their in-house team of engineers used structural and finite element analysis as components of the detailed analysis and modelling on how the cable design would behave and interact within a tensile architecture installation.
Structural Dynamics also worked with engineering firm Partridge to undertake the final design, review, slip testing of the bespoke cable clamps and final sign off for the project. Each of the eight different types of cable edge clamps were sent to the National Association of Testing Authorities’ (NATA) accredited laboratory for slip testing under wet and dry conditions to ensure their strength and adequacy.
The cable fittings were designed to the AS 1170 series: Structural Design Action, AS 4100: Steel Structures and AS 2759: Steel Wire Rope – Use, Operation and Maintenance.
Structural Dynamics’ Project Manager Shaun Salmon explained the logistics of the assembly of the Arbour whilst maintaining safe and continued access to the Stadium for more than 1,000 workers. ‘It was important during the installation process that our team of skilled and qualified tradesmen and riggers followed the approved construction sequencing and quality management system processes whilst not impeding access to the Stadium from the primary entry point on the southern concourse. Both temporary and permanent bracing measures were used throughout construction along with sequential tightening and regular cable tension testing to achieve the design intent drape and sag of the cable net canopy and not applying adverse force to any single point on the structure.’
Structural Dynamics’ collaboration with the multiple stakeholders involved in the Arbour design and construction ensured the successful delivery of a custom-designed stainless steel cable net canopy providing the flexibility, tensile strength and structural performance required.
Optus Stadium officially opened on 21 January 2018 and is the new home game venue of local Australian Football League teams Fremantle Football Club and the West Coast Eagles.
Arbour photos courtesy of Structural Dynamics. Photography by Abigail Harman.
Aerial photo of Optus Stadium Park courtesy of MakMax.
This article is featured in Australian Stainless Magazine #61.