Dematerialisation is a term we encounter often at Ronstan Tensile Architecture. Our structural rods are sourced by engineers, architects and steel workers for their high strength, minimal size and sleek designs, it’s a shame to say that our suspension rods are usually chosen to recede and disappear.
With the most recent refurbishment to the Queen Victoria Building in the heart of the Sydney CBD this is certainly the case. A key element of the project was a new escalator system replacing those installed in the 1980’s. These previous escalators where installed and located using the outdated retail tactic of forcing shoppers to walk through your building past the retail premises’s.
With today’s shopper being more savvy and wanting direct access the escalators have been located centrally in the atrium space, hung using a suspension rod system within the existing voids of the Victorian era building. Matching modern building technology with the heritage context became a major design challenge for Ancher Mortlock Wolley. It was necessary to balance the current needs for a functional space against respect for the important cultural role the QVB played in Sydney’s upbringing.
The resulting combination of Ronstan ARS structural rods connected to glass landings that support the mirror clad escalators recede into the background of the viewer ensuring the emphasis is on the 100 year old building. The steel structure manufactured and installed by ACD enterprises gives a modern take on the existing steel girder roof structure keeping within the set aesthetic.