The City of Greater Geelong (City) sought to improve amenity
and public interest in the city centre and increase pedestrian use
of the facilities in the downtown area with a feature catenary
structure to support lighting, as well as other temporary or
seasonal decorations for Christmas, etc.
GHD was commissioned to carry out a concept design for a
catenary, based on our prior experience in this area. We prepared
six different concept design options from which the City selected
the preferred catenary featuring a ‘tent-like’ shape. Further to
this, we produced the detailed design and construction
Durability and illumination
There are four adjacent buildings which are utilised to support
the catenary, three of which are heritage buildings. As there were
no records of the existing buildings available, complex site
investigations were required to determine the buildings’ form and
their capacity to support the catenary.
The new structure imposes high lateral loads on the supporting
buildings, which they were not originally designed for. As a
result, significant strengthening was required at two of the
buildings to ensure adequate structural capacity. Additionally, two
of the four adjacent buildings needed a supporting frame on the
roof to be high enough to support the catenary. Our team managed a
comprehensive stakeholder plan to ensure all parties were in
agreement, in particular the owners of the affected assets.
Consideration was also given to the exposure of cabling and
fixtures to coastal and extreme environments. These conditions
required protective coatings and specification of parts with
Lighting the way for community benefits
The catenary is fabricated from stainless steel components,
including cables and cable end fittings, spacers and struts
incorporated into the catenary. There are two levels of attachment
to adjacent buildings; the upper connection carries weight of
catenary system, while the lower connection restrains the catenary
structure and avoids excessive vertical movements.
To achieve the City’s objective, GHD used solid state lighting
(LED) which has the ability to provide coloured light with
digitally controlled variable patterning. The LED light fittings
can vary in colour and intensity. Control of the display is centred
at the City’s offices via in-ground optic fibre cable.
Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons turned on the lights on Friday 10
July 2015, blazing an array of LED colour throughout the city
The outcomes of our work have enabled the City to better support
shops, cafes and restaurants by attracting more people, including
families, into the city at night.