Sydney Modern Art Museum


Tensile designed and installed the stainless steel Webnet mesh barrier that weaves its way through the terraced gardens at the new Sydney Modern art museum.

The barrier provides necessary security for the public and demonstrates our commitment to getting the details just right in our project briefs – no matter the size of the job.

About the project

The Sydney Modern is an extension of the Art Gallery of NSW and is a significant project for the city.

The builder was Richard Crookes Construction – a company dedicated to creating sustainable buildings and social infrastructure.

Architectural firm SANAA designed the building, with the aim of creating a structure that would harmonise with its surroundings and contrast with the existing 19th century gallery.

The new building comprises a glass atrium and a series of interconnected pavilions offering over 7,000 square metres of gallery space. It incorporates hundreds of solar panels, and public landscaped native gardens including extensive green roof areas.

The building has achieved a 6-star Green Star rating – the first art museum in Australia to do so.

Tensile’s scope

Our job was to install a barrier that would meet the functional requirements for safety and security around the gardens. However, as the gallery and garden spaces are accessible and highly visible to the public, it was crucial that the barrier offered a transparent ‘played-down’ aesthetic.

To create the barrier, we used 40mm-aperture Webnet mesh made from 1.5mm wire rope, which was laced directly onto beautifully detailed stainless-steel tube supports and posts.

Webnet was chosen for its ability to meet both practical and aesthetic needs in a project such as this one. The material not only has excellent tensile strength and longevity – it also features a light, thin profile, and a highly translucent appearance.

It was crucial that the material was able to adapt to curving forms as well, given the way the barrier meanders in and out through the gardens. Webnet is the ideal material for this, due to its flexible and malleable nature and ability to conform to virtually any geometry. No other barrier material can match this ability while still providing the strength and robustness required of a public safety barrier.

We have used Webnet extensively on projects requiring flexible and unobtrusive commercial barriers – including on footbridges, spiral staircases, playgrounds, atriums, outdoor high-rise terraces, and multi-deck carparks.

If you need a barrier that provides robust security and safety while complementing your architectural design, contact us to find out more about the benefits of Webnet.

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