At Tensile, we often get the opportunity to collaborate on the most wonderfully unique projects. This was certainly the case when we joined the team working on the upgrade of a 12-storey office building at 224 Bunda Street in Canberra.
The building, known as Two24, has been fully refurbished to bring it up to a modern standard. The architects for the project were COX Architecture and the builder was the Bloc construction company.
The building update included a re-designed ground floor lobby and new internal layout, along with updated lighting, decor and technology. Our job was the design and installation of a sheer mesh curtain that sits around the outside of the podium.
The purpose behind the mesh curtain at Two24 is to provide a degree of privacy and shading to the glazed facade behind, as well as to define the entrance and make a unique statement to the street.
The curtain is made from German-manufactured stainless steel ring mesh by Alphamesh – a product that has been used in many building projects around the world. The mesh comes in ring diameters of 7mm to 12mm and can be coloured to suit the installation.
Using stainless steel mesh in this way enables the creation of a giant veil or skin across a building that provides screening, but is highly transparent at the same time. This means that while the screen provides shading, it does so without obstructing views or natural light, and it can simultaneously enhance the building’s facade.
Tensile’s brief for the job
The mesh for the giant curtain at Two24 is made from interlinked 12mm diameter stainless steel rings. We designed and fabricated the mesh and installed the finished product on the facades. There were two facades to the building that required covering – each being approximately 50m wide x 7m high.
The ring mesh material is incredibly robust. It can take huge loads and provide good screening, while weighing only 3kg per m2. And being made from 316-grade stainless steel, it has excellent longevity, which means the curtain at Two24 should last for many years!
However, while the material might be light in weight, the mesh screens themselves were heavy – weighing up to 180kg each. At the same time there was only a narrow footpath to work from. So overall, the installation was not without its challenges!
But Tensile has a multi-disciplinary crew consisting of architects, engineers and builders, so we were able to lift the giant veils into place with some careful planning.
The finished product is a sheer veil that hangs in folds across the facades, much like two pieces of fabric. A curved steel bar sits at the base of the curtain, helping to define it and hold it in place.
We feel honoured to have been involved in a project of this calibre, and look forward to collaborating on similar projects in the future!