Project name:  Naenae Bowling Club   
Fabric used: Serge Ferrari Tx30 III
Fabric Supplied by: Serge Ferrari
Components Supplied by: Ronstan/Pfeifer
Engineer Company: Dunning Thornton Consultants

What did the client request?

This overall project was specifically conceived to provide a community meeting point to focus and reinvigorate the residents of a depressed suburb which had been in steady decline for 30 plus years. Many residents of this suburb are elderly and due to lack of transportation seldom left their homes, hence community interaction was poor. The additional aim of the project was to have the elderly and young be involved in community based sports and activities to invigorate, inspire, and bond fellow citizens.The client requested a facility that would provide a modern and striking aesthetic focal point for the community.

The requirement of minimising consumption of resources for heating, ventilation and lighting was to be incorporated into the design. The fabric shape with central ring provided for heat to rise and escape– when the large glazed doors are opened a natural draft is created which significantly cools the bowling green area. The tilt up slab walls and large concrete apron of significant thermal mass heated by the sun during the day, provide for re-radiated heating in the cool winter evenings. Highly translucent fabric allows for natural light to evenly illuminate the bowling green during the day hence negating the use of lighting with low energy LED up-lights used at night to evenly light the reflective fabric surface, eliminating shadows and areas of indifferent light levels to the playing surface. The use of a large span tension membrane structure provided the “nucleus” from project inception through to final design.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The client had acquired an existing dilapidated sports facility in the centre of the community; however the geological area was part of an ancient riverbed consisting of unstable sedimentary material which was found to be extremely sensitive to liquefaction during seismic activity. The design of the building and in particular the Tension Membrane Structure had to accommodate for signification lateral displacement under seismic conditions .This lead to development of a complex structural steel design and base isolation that would allow for movement and return to design geometry after a seismic event given the “importance level” of this public space .

Due to the specific seismic design the installation process of the structural steel and Tensioned Membrane Structure was a very sensitive process.

A very detailed engineered installation plan was developed, incorporating temporary support towers with sliding bogies to allow the structural steel arches to transit fore and aft during installation to avoid unbalanced forces imparting loads into the rigid bracing elements of the surrounding building. Twice as much time was spent in the office planning and designing the installation as did the actual installation on site of approximately six weeks. To provide added aesthetic qualities for the membrane a hearing bone pattern was developed into the valley regions of the structure – this complicated the fabrication process with very complex gore seam overlaps. This addition detail was well worth the effort adding a real sense of craftsmanship to the project. Project photos speak for themselves

What were the results of the project?

The project was successfully completed with a very satisfied client and an outstanding community facility that has been fully utilised from the first day of opening. The club membership has increased from some 80 members that used the decrepit facility occasionally to over 400 and climbing that now use the facility daily. The community acceptance and integration has been tremendous. Revenue raised from the restaurant and bar incorporated into the facility help fund the club and community events planned there.