Phoenix Gallery, Sydney
Bespoke Ancon masonry fixings and restraints, specially designed and manufactured by world leading construction support specialist, Leviat, have enabled designers to achieve the unique sculptured brick façade of Sydney’s iconic, multi award-winning, Phoenix Gallery.
“This was a memorable build, not only for the technically complex brickwork, but for the level of collaboration and expertise of all involved. The support we received from Leviat was exceptional. Working closely with their Sydney office, we were able to design, engineer and manufacture the complicated structural elements as needed, helping us to deliver truly outstanding results.”
Brendan Addison - Project Manager - Favetti
Phoenix, the private gallery of Arts philanthropist, Judith Neilson, blurs the distinction between art and architecture. Designed in a unique collaboration by renowned architectural practices, John Wardle Architects and Durbach Block Jaggers, the building brings together distinct and intimate gallery, garden, and performance spaces, within a complex continuous external brickwork skin.
Supported around an internal concrete and steel frame, the brickwork façade dimples, twists and curls in three dimensions to create unique details that define the building. This presented major support and restraint challenges for the Architects, Main Contractor, FDC Construction, and Brickwork Specialists Favetti.
The complexity of the details meant that purpose-designed masonry support systems would be required to bridge the differing structural frame and masonry profiles. As most Ancon support systems are designed and manufactured to suit individual applications, Leviat was able to provide a full package of practical and economic solutions, working closely with the contractor to co-ordinate and design on site, as building progressed.
To limit differential movement and reduce the size of the raking masonry panels, Favetti used 168 metres of Ancon MDC and Ancon LDC Bespoke Bracket Angle Support System and Cleats, fixed to the structure at each floor level and pre-profiled to ensure that support angle legs remained horizontal whilst following the brick profile on plan.
Following detailed site measurements, Leviat was also able to design and manufacture a bespoke solution for the eye-catching ‘torsion’ corner detail that ran through the support system at one level.
Brickwork panels were restrained vertically using 2000 Ancon SDB Wall Ties, fixed back to the structural concrete frame. Ancon SD25 Wall Ties were also used in conjunction with 613 metres of Ancon 25/14 Channel, for fixing directly to the structural steel frame.
The O’Connor Street façade, however, was the most complex due to large variations between the masonry and structural frame around the huge dimple feature. Working with the designers and contractors, the Leviat team developed a bespoke restraint solution that was submitted for testing by Newcastle University. Over 600 special multi-adjustable wall ties, which mechanically engage with the bricks to provide secure restraint, were subsequently manufactured for the project.
“This was a memorable build, not only for the technically complex brickwork, but for the level of collaboration and expertise of all involved”, said Brendan Addison, Project Manager at Favetti. “The support we received from Leviat was exceptional. Working closely with their Sydney office, we were able to design, engineer and manufacture the complicated structural elements as needed, helping us to deliver truly outstanding results.”
The Leviat team provided full technical support throughout the project, which now counts two further prestigious 2020 awards, Dezeen Awards ‘Cultural Building of the Year’ and Think Brick’s ‘Horbury Hunt Commercial Award’, amongst its growing list of accolades.
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Leviat will be showcasing some of Australia’s most trusted and innovative connecting, fixing and anchoring solutions at Sydney Build 22 (ICC Sydney, 1-2 June 2022).
With their new European Technical Assessment (ETA), Halfen HZA serrated anchor channels fulfil all requirements of AS 5216:2021 and can be used in projects across Australia.