The striking new facade of an iconic Gold Coast shopping centre harnesses innovative seamless mesh technology from Kanyemaile.
The facade – believed to be the largest kinetic mesh facade in the southern hemisphere – is made from Kaynemaile’s award-winning polycarbonate seamless mesh and is part of an A$670 million redevelopment of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast. When completed, the centre will be the largest in Queensland and the fourth largest in Australia.
Set to run the length of the upgraded 6,500-space car park, the facade was designed collaboratively by Kaynemaile and Scentre Design and Construction, which is managing the design and construction of Pacific Fair Shopping Centre’s redevelopment for owner AMP Capital.
It features two Kaynemaile products: a kinetic 3D facade and large scale Building-Armour architectural mesh panels. The facade comprises 188 multi-layer seamless mesh panels, totalling 1,850 square metres, and two Building-Armour flat panels, totalling 600 square metres. The largest panel is 50 m wide by 9m tall and was installed by hand in one lift.
The kinetic facade’s visual impact is caused by light hitting each of the 10 million rings used in its construction at a different angle. The two layers of Kaynemaile mesh are executed in aqua and champagne, giving a dynamic moiré effect. At night the facade is lit from below, creating the impression of an undulating wave. During the day, the 3D surface is reminiscent of a shimmering fish skin.
John White, Senior Development Manager, AMP Capital, confirms this compelling visual statement is key to the project brief.
‘This car park facade sits hard on the boundary of the site on its busiest road frontage. The building is very prominent to passing traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular. The brief was therefore to give the building an interesting aspect for passersby, to create interest in the shopping centre. The intention always was for the facade to have a kinetic nature.’
The project also answered a number of challenges, he adds. ‘Representations had been made to stakeholders about the concept design very early in the project. When the time came to execute the design, a number of challenges were encountered, including limited space on the boundary to locate a facade system and a difficult work site to install the facade system – adjoining roads, a bus interchange, a footpath and trees.
‘Capital cost was another consideration, mostly related to supporting the alternative steel screen system and delivering the kinetic aspect of the brief in a corrosive coastal environment where moving metal parts are prone to seizing up.
‘Kaynemaile allowed us to deal with each of these issues, being a lightweight, easy to install, non-metal system. In particular, the opportunity to use the existing car park structure without any additional support framing saved significant cost.’
Stephen Simpson, Regional Manager Design Projects, Scentre Group Design, says he came across Kaynemaile when a colleague learned about the company at a conference. With the initial concept under review, Kaynemaile provided solutions to many of the issues encountered.
In particular, Kaynemaile mesh offered benefits at the construction stage. The mesh is lightweight and doesn’t require a crane for installation. Screens over 50 m wide or 50 m high can be erected by hand in a day, unlike metal mesh, which has to be unrolled in limited widths and lifted by crane or heavy equipment.
He adds Kaynemaile mesh offered a number of other benefits. It is non-combustible and meets the requirements for natural ventilation of car parks. Sustainability was a concern for AMP Capital, and Kaynemaile was able to meet and exceed all its requirements. In addition, the product maintains outlook, so drivers can see from the inside out, while the 3D mesh gives 80% visual privacy.
‘We were also really impressed by the speed with which Kaynemaile expedited the project,’ he adds. ‘The usual timeframe would be eight months to a year, but the timeframe for this facade was six months and Kaynemaile succeeded in delivering within four.
‘I would certainly use Kaynemaile again on the basis that it’s a great-looking material that’s great to work with and has a diverse range of applications. I should also note that this was a custom project for Kaynemaile and we were really impressed by the way the team there was able to work collaboratively with us to come up with the right solution.
‘Using Kaynemaile really invigorated this project for us. It turned a car park into a compelling architectural statement. To sum up, Kaynemaile takes car park design to the next level.’
Kaynemaile founder and New Zealand national Kayne Horsham invented Kaynemaile as a modern version of chainmail. While working as artistic director for Weta Workshop on the Lord of the Rings films, he was required to produce lightweight, robust and authentic-looking chainmail. Having found that traditional chainmail suffered weakness at the join where the rings are connected, Kayne created a seamless polycarbonate mesh. Since then Kaynemaile has evolved into a cutting-edge architectural product with unique aesthetic and functional benefits.
Special thanks to Austaron Surfaces