The proud capital of Western Australia, Perth is a city of immense advancement and evolution. Nestled on the banks of the beautiful Swan River, the city is bustling with new urban developments which are putting Perth amongst the top travel destinations of the world.
The benefits of the last decade’s resources boom have flowed into every aspect of Perth living with the city experiencing growth in all corners of life. From the brand new Elizabeth Quay to the upcoming opening of the revamped Museum of Western Australia, Perth is becoming home to its very own myriad of engineering feats.
1. Optus Stadium
One of the newest additions to Perth’s horizon, Optus Stadium is a multi-purpose 60,000 seat world-class venue. Delivering an exceptional atmosphere and experience no matter the sport, the stadium utilized specialists from Perth, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore, and London to engineer the sporting marvel.
One of the stadiums’ key features is its climate conditions roof. The stadiums’ structural engineers developed a stunning and efficient roof solution that was made of continuous fabric, free of movement joints, and even integrated with lighting.
It’s no wonder the stadium recently took out the award for the most beautiful sporting facility in the world.
2. RAC Arena
This neo-futuristic entertainment area is found at the heart of Perth's CBD. With its geometric facade, the intense project demanded close collaboration between several teams to bring the arena to life.
With key features including a retractable roof that can open and close in less than 15 minutes, five-level tiered seating and corporate suites, RAC Arena is a unique and wonderfully complex venue to admire from both within and afar.
Since its opening in 2012, approximately 3 million people have visited the Area for 350+ major events.
3. Canning Dam
The Canning Dam and reservoir provide a major freshwater resource for Perth. It is well known for its innovative structural and hydraulic design that was at the forefront of concrete gravity dam design at the time of construction in the late 1930s. Inflow into the Canning Reservoir is estimated to be 22 gigalitres and has a storage capacity of 90.352 gigalitres.
Not only is Canning Dam a benchmark site in the history of Perth's development but is an engineering masterpiece of its time, complete with a curved concrete wall and the use of International Stripped Classical detailing on the gatehouse piers.
Did you know that during its constructions, bulk handling of cement was used for the first time in Australia? This was instead of the usage of bagged cement, which was the standard practice of the day.
Did you know that it is open for visitors to walk across during the day? You can even make it a day trip with picnic areas and bushwalking trails surrounding the area.
4. City of Perth Library
Did you know that the new City of Perth Library is the first major civic building to be built since the Perth Concert Hall nearly 40 years ago?! This magnificent building is revealed across seven levels with authentic ceiling artwork, gardens, and auditorium.
The library has a circular design that is complemented by a series of glass facades and stone-clad columns. The intermittent vertical cladding that decorates the outside of the building is orientated to draw in natural light.
One of the most advanced aspects of the building is its’ built-in mechanical systems. The library features underfloor air distribution through the main library collection levels, forming part of the greater sustainability initiatives for the building.
5. Matagarup Bridge
The Matagarup Bridge is a pedestrian bridge crossing over the Swan River. It’s an incredible feat of engineering, design and West Australian workmanship.
The challenge of the construction was the long period of over-water construction. The building of the bridge required parts of the river to be completely closed for more than two months. Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said: “This project has been one of the most technically difficult constructions ever undertaken in Western Australia and the local workforce has embraced the challenge and done an outstanding job.”
Designed to look like two flying swans, the bridge is now a symbol of innovation along the Perth city skyline and is a spectacular gateway to the new Optus Stadium.
6. Mills Park
Did you know that in suburban Perth, a team of engineers has been setting Australian-first standards for environmentally friendly projects? The Mills Park Centre in Gosnells is the first as-built rated 6 Star Green Star public building in Australia.
This mixed-use community facility has multiple environmentally-friendly features, including carbon-friendly materials and the inclusion of Bubbledeck, a construction approach that requires less structural support and building materials overall.
The city’s Director of Infrastructure, Dave Harris says the project has exceeded all initial expectations.
“Our administration building was the first five-star green star public building in WA and now Mills Park is the first six-star green star designation for a public building for both design and construction in Australia, I really couldn’t have planned for anything better.”
7. Western Australia Museum 2020 and Central Energy Plan
Cutting-edge technology is currently being used to redevelop the Western Australia Museum, which finds its home in the Perth Cultural Centre. The $359.9 million project will be nearly four times the size of its predecessor. It will also encompass a $17.1 million research centre.
The project is a mammoth task for engineers. Challenges have included the restoration of four heritage buildings which made up part of the previous museum and meeting the need to heavily load the new museum’s cores to the equivalent of a 30-story building.
The construction is also including a Central Energy Plant which will service the entirety of the Perth Cultural Centre. It will reduce energy use and Co2 emissions in the Perth Cultural Centre by 30-40% by 2020.