ORAN PARK LIBRARY & RESOURCE CENTRE
Central Avenue, Oran Park NSW 2570
Year of construction
Name of the client/building owner
Urban Growth NSW & Camden Council
Function of building
Degree of enclosure
Mediterranean - mild winters, dry hot summers
Number of layers
Type of application of the membrane
Primary function of the tensile structure
- Sun protection
Fabritecture was contracted for the design & construction of the ETFE façade at the front of the library. The structure incorporates 2-layer ETFE cushions in a tessellating triangular pattern in red, yellow, white & translucent, on a uniquely designed folded plate structural steel framing system that completes with backlighting which makes the structure come alive at night.
The development plan had an artwork requirement specified, so the client was after a functional façade that also satisfied the criteria of structural artwork. A structure such as the Oran Park ETFE façade is considered a piece of architectural artwork as it includes elements of creativity amid the constraints of a functional piece of engineering. Designer & architect Brewster Hjorth came up with the design for the unique façade. Engineering was completed by Wade Engineering & Seele.
Apart from offering architectural aesthetic, the façade also provides an effective solar barrier for the library to help regulate temperature behind the glass. It was installed 3m in front of the main glass wall of the library as a barrier from the Western sun. The purpose is for the ETFE Façade to block a majority of the heat before reaching the main façade of the library and any redundant heat would disappear within the 3m gap. This still maintains high light levels in the building whilst keeping the
library cooler. Although functionality was the primary motive of the structure, the architectural intent was to be a distinctive piece of artwork that the local community would be proud of.
The installation for the façade was quite unique. A plan was developed to assemble the whole steel structure/frame and ETFE cushions at ground level, then install it using one crane lift. Some of the ETFE cushions were inflated before the lift which allowed for faster installation. Obtaining specialised ETFE colours for the yellow-gold and red pillows was complex due to the small amount of each foil required for the design. There is a lack of symmetry along the façade, meaning most pillows have custom dimensions and complicated nodes where they all meet.
The ducting system for the cushions has been designed so that each cushion is connected to its predecessor, so that the air
works its way vertically down the façade through each cushion. This removes the need for an aesthetic large ducting system. The plenum sits neatly and discreetly along the top of the structure. None of the pillows sit independently.
The steel framing was adapted to lighten the overall weight of the structure with a custom folded plate profile, and RHS steelwork around the outside. The custom steel profile allows for connection details and specialized central node connections. Each connection where the corners of the ETFE cushion triangles meet are all different because the geometry of the triangles is different. The project is approximately 189m² and took the team 497 man hours to complete.
Description of the environmental conditions
This structure is part of a pretty exciting project for the Oran Park community! The South-West Sydney suburb of Sydney has seen some tremendous economic, social and residential growth in the last 5-10 years, so it was exciting to be a part of the suburbs’ development.
General comments, links
The Oran Park Library project took home the 2018 Specialised Textiles Association Award for Excellence Winner
Material of the cover
Main dimensions and form
Covered surface (m2)
Duration of use
Temporary or permanent structure