Versatile Structures won the 2020 Specialised Textiles and 2022 LSAA Citation of Merit award for the Noosa Botanical Gardens shade structure

In the 1980s, Noosa Council repurposed an extra-large bird aviary at Noosa Botanic Gardens to a shade house to establish and protect unique flora for public display. Versatile Structures were commissioned to remove the old shade house and replace it with a new practical and cost-effective shade solution. This large-scale project had an unconventional footprint, containing a community of precious light and humidity sensitive plants that are surrounded by a well-established tree canopy.

Versatile Structures along with external consultants were contracted to perform a holistic design approach, including the usage of sun path apps and aerial shade analysis, to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing build without causing harm to the existing plant collection. The new design needed to eliminate direct sunlight, complement the existing natural shade patterns, and provide artificial shade that blended in within the surrounding tree canopy.

Working with the Noosa Council’s Infrastructure Design & Delivery team, we designed a shade solution of overlapping sails to accommodate the various plant species’ shade variation needs, whilst offering flexibility within the confined, and irregular footprint.

The cost of the project to the environment was mitigated, with all-steel components from the old structure taken for recycling, no excess concrete mix being left on site, and a flora and fauna management plan being developed by all contractors. Financial, environmental, economic and community sustainability were all components in the development of the Noosa Botanic Shade Garden canopy structure.

In addition to the 2020 Specialized Textiles Award, Versatile Structures was also awarded the 2022 Lightweight Structures Association of Australia (LSAA) SMALL STRUCTURES CITATION of MERIT AWARD. The project won Noosa Council the 2020 IPWEA Queensland Excellence Award for a project under $1 million.

Fabric: Monotec 210