Award winning Dreamworld shade structure installed by Versatile Structures

Dreamworld – Big Red Boat Umbrella

Client Request and Proposed Solution: We were approached by Dreamworld to supply and install multiple umbrellas over the loading station for a new ride they were constructing. They provided a general scope, emphasizing the urgency of completing the project before the ride's opening date. We based our design on architectural drawings and basic engineering details, working swiftly to complete and approve the design before involving our engineers for analysis. We stressed the importance of a prototype fit, as the fabric and custom geometry of the frame required minimal error to ensure the final product’s functionality.

Outsourced Fabrication: To meet the tight deadline, certain aspects of the fabrication were outsourced. Specifically, the entire fabrication process (100%) was completed outside our workplace. We engaged Copelands & Pickers for this task. The collaboration allowed us to maintain focus on the design and engineering while ensuring the fabrication met our standards and timeline.

Subcontracted Services: To facilitate the placement of the umbrellas we partnered with Tenacity Cranes for this critical component, ensuring the pre-assembled frames were accurately and safely positioned.

Project Scope: This was a completely new project, starting from scratch with design, fabrication, and installation. The design phase involved close coordination with Dreamworld's team to ensure all specifications were met, particularly regarding the aesthetic and structural requirements of the umbrellas.

Installation Challenges and Solutions: The primary challenge was the tight deadline for the ride’s grand opening. To ensure the feasibility of constructing the umbrellas, a prototype was used to verify proper fit and alignment of the fabric stripes. Once the prototype received approval, it was utilized alongside the remaining three umbrellas that still needed to be fabricated. Given the limited installation window, achieving a successful prototype on the first attempt was crucial, as design changes and retesting were impractical.

Despite operational challenges due to restricted access and ongoing trades, custom jibs facilitated fabric fitting onto the frames from the ground. The final step involved using a crane to lift pre-assembled frames, complete with umbrella skins, onto the already-installed umbrella posts.

Lessons Learned: If we were to embark on this project a second time, we would certainly request additional time. Our primary hurdle was the need to balance urgency with the intricate process of designing, fabricating, and installing entirely new umbrellas. Despite successfully completing all four structures, any inconsistencies during the prototype phase would have jeopardized our ability to meet the project deadline.

Technical Information: Our project boasts a unique feature: custom-designed umbrellas. These umbrellas stand out due to their meticulously crafted striped fabric, which adds an intricate pattern. Achieving precise alignment of the horizontal lines on these umbrellas was no small task; it required significant effort to ensure that each line perfectly matched the design specifications.