Tensile customised their webnet mesh to support the transparent balustrades on the Elizabeth Quay Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge in Perth.

An integral part of Perth’s master plan to connect the city back to its waterfront and revitalise the city’s central business district, the Elizabeth Quay Bridge serves as the crucial link between The Island, the western promenade and Williams Landing, and also accommodates a popular access route for pedestrians and cyclists. Officially opened on January 29, 2016, the bridge has already achieved iconic status as a Perth landmark.

The bridge’s design concept maintains the well-used ‘around the bridges’ pedestrian and cycling circuit, while accommodating the passage of ferries. However, reaching the required clearance for the navigation channel created a substantial change in level from Williams Quay to the western end of the bridge.

The design team at Arup Associates decided to curve the bridge deck to create extended ramps at the entry points. The powerful S-curve form is complemented with arches to “reinforce the experience of movement” across the bridge deck.

The architecture called for a transparent balustrade, but it also needed to be sufficiently robust to withstand high wind impacts. The balustrade design follows the bridge deck curves in plan, leaning in and out vertically, and twisting like a ribbon along the length of the bridge.

Tensile responded to this technical challenge by developing a customised version of webnet mesh that was clear of obstruction, enhancing its capacity to conform to the support structure like a piece of fabric. The final outcome not only met the design objectives of the architects but also the safety requirement with the mesh engineered to tolerate the highest crowd loads in the National Construction Code.

Tensile supplied the webnet mesh in eight panels, matching them to the curves on site. The sections were then joined to create two continuous pieces. This modular strategy increased the efficiency of the installation, allowing them to complete the work ahead of schedule.

Tensile’s webnet mesh was one of the products that helped the architects achieve “simple and pure structural forms” for the Elizabeth Quay Pedestrian and Cyclist Bridge. Tensile’s ability to respond quickly with a customised, modular version of webnet mesh to meet the design specifications contributed to the timely completion of the bridge for their client, contractor DASSH.