Shading structures, translucent roofs – the Seaworld Plaza membrane roof

The 2,760 square metre food and beverage plaza area at the Seaworld Plaza (located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia) required a roof. For a project of this size, a unique fabric shade structure had to be made. The wave-like canopy also accommodates the monorail that passes beneath the shade structure.
Frontside View 381 mesh fabric used for sun protection at aqua theme park

The Brief

The geometry of the Seaworld Plaza Membrane Roof structure is architecturally complex. The monorail enters and exits the fabric structure, so clearance to the envelope was critical. The high open-edge canopy is designed to look like that of a rolling wave, with a curved leading edge that adds both an interesting edge form, as well as providing additional protection from the weather.


The Concept

Numerous trades were present on the site, which presented some coordination issues. Because the steel connections were site welded, the rafters now appear seamless. All textiles end at the rafters, allowing for the removal of specific panels or bays rather than the complete building in the event that repairs or maintenance are necessary. The provision of several screw piles, a mass concrete pad, and a plinth for the column made the foundations significant.

Stretched mesh fabric provides shade at waterpark

The Materials

The fabric chosen for the Seaworld Plaza Membrane Roof project was the Serge Ferrari TX30-II PVC, now known as the Flexlight Xtrem TX30-11. It was used for the Seaworld Plaza as it was best suited to the unique conditions with the design. The fabric is built to survive in tropical climates, perfect for the weather at Seaworld and along the Gold Coast. In addition, the fabric has excellent light transmission, allowing the plaza to still be well lit with natural light during the parks opening times.

Flexlight Xtrem TX30-II is a very high performance membrane, thanks to its crosslink technology. This material is ideal for complex projects involving translucent roofs.

Advantages of the fabric are:

  • Proven lifetime of more than 30 years
  • Suitable for use in severe and tropical climates like southern Africa
  • Excellent natural light transmission
Serge Ferrari’s Frontside View 381 fabric offers shade and sun protection at water theme park in Australia

The Result

The wave-like shape of the Seaworld Plaza Membrane Roof is another striking and iconic custom fabric structure for the theme park. The light open-air feel to the canopy provides a cool and comfortable space to take a break from all the theme-park fun. The Seaworld Plaza Membrane Roof allows park guests to sit and relax in a sun and weather protected space.

© Synchron Fabrics & Foils, November 2022
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