shade structure installed by Versatile Structures for Queensland Racetrack

Contemporary architecture and urban planning

 Jamie Howard      In

In the world of architecture and design, the concept of versatility has become increasingly important. Versatile Structures can adapt to various functions, climates, and aesthetics, making them valuable assets in modern urban planning and development. This article explores three exceptional examples of Versatile Structures: the waterproof shade structure at a Queensland Racetrack, the leaf shade structure installed for Lismore Council, and architectural mesh facades. These structures not only provide practical solutions but also enhance the visual appeal of their surroundings.

1. Waterproof Shade Structure at Queensland Racetrack

The Queensland raceway is a host to various motorsports like v8  racing, drifting, superbikes and even go karts. However, the unpredictable Queensland weather posed a significant challenge for event organizers. To address this issue, a versatile waterproof shade structure was designed and installed.

Design and Functionality

The waterproof shade structure at the Queensland racetrack is a testament to innovative engineering and architectural design. Its primary purpose is to provide shelter from the scorching sun and unexpected rain showers, ensuring that events can proceed smoothly regardless of the weather.

The structure consists of a series of membranes made from high-quality, weather-resistant materials. These membranes allow airflow to reduce high temperatures as well as enhance the Raceway’s brand colours.

Visual Appeal

Beyond its functionality, this structure enhances the aesthetic appeal of the racetrack. The sleek, modern design blends seamlessly with the surroundings, and the colour palette complements the existing architecture.

2. Leaf Shade Structure for Lismore Council

Lismore, a picturesque town in New South Wales, is known for its natural beauty and lush greenery. When Lismore Council sought to create a versatile and environmentally friendly shade structure for a public park, they turned to nature for inspiration.

Design and Functionality

The leaf shade structure in Lismore Park is a stunning example of biomimicry in architecture. Its design draws inspiration from the leaves of the native rainforest trees that surround the area. The structure consists of a series of canopy-like “leaves”.

The leaves provide shade for park visitors at all times, making it an ideal spot for picnics, outdoor gatherings, and relaxation.

3. Architectural Mesh Facades

Architectural mesh facades are a versatile design element that has gained popularity in modern architecture. These facades are not just decorative; they serve various functional purposes in both commercial and residential settings.

Design and Functionality

Architectural mesh facades are created using woven metal or wire mesh panels. They can be customized in terms of patterns, colours, and transparency levels, allowing architects to achieve a range of aesthetic goals. These facades can be used as sunscreens, privacy screens, and even as security barriers when appropriately engineered.

In commercial buildings, architectural mesh facades serve a dual purpose. They provide an elegant and contemporary look to the structure’s exterior while also contributing to energy efficiency. By regulating the amount of sunlight that enters the building, they help control the interior temperature, reducing the need for excessive air conditioning or heating.

Versatility in Design

One of the key strengths of architectural mesh facades is their versatility in design. They can be used to create intricate patterns that evoke a sense of modernity and sophistication. Alternatively, they can be employed to create more minimalistic and understated aesthetics, depending on the project’s requirements.

Additionally, these facades can be used in combination with other building materials, such as glass or concrete, to create unique visual effects. The interplay of materials and textures adds depth and character to the building’s exterior.


Versatile Structures are at the forefront of contemporary architecture and urban planning. They not only address practical concerns but also enhance the visual and environmental aspects of their surroundings. The waterproof shade structure at the Queensland racetrack ensures that events go on uninterrupted, rain or shine, while adding a touch of elegance to the venue. Lismore’s leaf shade structure exemplifies sustainability and natural beauty, making it a focal point of the town’s park. Architectural mesh facades offer a myriad of design possibilities, combining aesthetics with functionality in commercial and residential spaces. These versatile structures are a testament to human ingenuity, demonstrating that architecture can harmoniously coexist with nature, adapt to changing circumstances, and provide both utility and beauty to the communities they serve. As we continue to push the boundaries of design and engineering, the possibilities for Versatile Structures are limitless.


  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.