A project Tensile Design and Construct were involved in – building a green facade eight metres high by 90 metres long covering three levels of the podium car park for a new apartment building in Rushcutters Bay, Sydney – shows off both great aesthetics within a green wall system as well as innovative solutions and architectural finesse.
Tensile took on the job, project managing it endto end. As an architectural solutions company, it undertook the design work, structural steelwork engineering, fabrication, co-ordination of the artist’s work installation and the final installation.
Tensile founder Peter Bottero says they got involved when plans for an underground car park were put in the too-hard-basket. “Because Rushcutters Bay is in such a low part of the Sydney CBD, the water table was about one metre below the ground, so digging down was going to cost an enormous amount of money,” he said. “To counter this problem, it was decided to create an above-ground car park.”
Tensile was able to offer innovative answers to architectural challenges particularly through the use of lightweight tension solutions. The company was approached to be part of a team involved in the construction of the car park for the Advanx apartment’s development.
Tensile Design & Construct joined forces with builder FDC Construction and architects DJRD to build an above-ground car park. Located in a busy innercity area of Sydney, it was agreed that the car park needed to look good but not blow the budget.
The initial structural design of the facade prior to Tensile's involvement involved having steel posts spaced around 1.8 metres apart with infill between the posts. Tensile redesigned and reconfigured this element to create a lightweight, economical solution using Webnet mesh.
The steel posts were pulled out to a distance of eight metres and the mesh installed between them. The Tensile product used was Jakob Webnet Mesh, a stainless steel tensioned mesh. Tensile’s solution resulted in savings of more than 60 tonne of steel compared with the more expensive original design, including savings on costs and the time to install it.
The design of the green facade complied with some important specifics relating to car park building code. And within a year, the plants had fully grown adding to the car park’s aesthetic appeal.
The whole structure hangs off the side of the building and no modifications or additions were required for Tensile’s design, we worked with what was already drawn.