The use of steel is beautifully displayed in the structure, which was made possible with modern computer-aided draughting capabilities. The outer circle of the steel structure is 44 m in diameter, while the whole structure slopes at 11°, resulting in eaves of varying heights – some by more than 8.5 m. The roof beams are made up of tapering plate girders and are supported internally on a reinforced concrete tower and externally on a latticed box girder.
The Protea Court Rooflight joins renowned projects such as the Water Cube in Beijing and the Eden project in Cornwall for its use of EFTE plastic bag-like roof cladding, which is kept inflated with compressed air. Lightweight EFTE film allows the creation of cutting-edge spatial architecture and also provides superior quake resistance.
It has been a number of years since the overall winner of the Steel Awards was an architectural-type project but the unusual excellence of the Protea Court Rooflight left the judges in no doubt about its worthiness of the number one spot. They commented that the project is a display of excellence of the highest order in terms of the use of structural steel and the skills that went into making the project a masterpiece. “It is truly deserving of the overall winner award at Steel Awards 2011”.
Aurecon’s Dennis Nash commented: “The successful completion of the Protea Court Rooflight is a direct result of the commitment and good working relationships of the professional team, main contractor and steelwork contractor. From an engineering perspective, it has been a very demanding project but, without doubt, a most satisfying job to complete.”