Australian Underwater Discovery Centre
We are excited to announce that we will be providing structural engineering services for the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre adjacent to the picturesque Busselton Jetty. With annual whale migrations from September to December, this new centre will provide a unique opportunity for visitors to have a small insight into marine life.
The whale-inspired discovery centre will be made of concrete, chosen for durability and its ability to be shaped. The concrete will allow marine life to attach and provide a diverse habitat for sea creatures big and small. The ocean floor-level observatory will have several viewing windows, allowing for a rare and special view of Geographe Bay.
Our WA team are providing the structural design engineering services of the concrete elements and pile socket connections that will anchor the observatory to the seabed. The design presents some significant challenges, such as large hydrostatic loads, differential buoyancy, large glass windows (23,000kg of glass), large tension forces in the piles. WGA used ultramodern plate modelling to determine how loads move through the uniquely shaped structure. This has allowed us to quantify with precision the effects of loading and produce a robust and durable design. The structure has been designed to survive a one in 200-year event, something which we believe the jetty next to it would not withstand.
The design of this building has unique loading criteria as it will be built on land and floated into position. It is not every day you get to design a building to act as a boat!
WGA is part of the design team led by Subcon and Core Marine.