To be sheltered from the rain, sun and harmful UV rays while enjoying the magnificent animal shows under the natural light was the prime motive for the upgrading of the famed Amphitheatre and Carousel structure at the Rainforest Kidz World @ Singapore Zoological Gardens (now Singapore Zoo). The design consultant had specifically requested for a fabric roof that is lightweight, translucent, durable and environmentally friendly. The fabric that is able to meet these demanding requirements is the PTFE-coated glass fiber fabric, commonly known as Teflon fabric. Teflon fabric is a Class ‘0’ fire-rated material.
Multimedia Engineering was given the task of upgrading this famous Amphitheater and the nearby Carousel in March 2010. The project was successfully completed in May 2010 just in time for the June school holiday.
The amphitheatre roof is a half ellipsoidal dome of steel and ADAS® PTFE-coated tensile fabric. The elliptical curvature of the roof provides its own tension, which leads to less material being used hence a lower weight and cost. The main roof comprises of six numbers of planar trusses, built using hot dipped galvanized circular hollow sections and connected together with an innovative cruciform connector. The lateral connections are formed by the secondary planar frame resulting in strong and rigid structure which facilitates the transfer of wind and rain loads from the tensile membrane roof to the columns and finally to the foundation. This state of the art ADAS® Tensile Membrane roof covers a seating and performing area of 1000m2, with 45m of clear span between the supports, providing sufficient space for the various animals to showcase their acrobatic skills and entertain the audience. The height of the column is 15m, providing an unobstructed view of the magnificent Mandai Lake.
Adjacent to the amphitheatre is the carousel, a merry-go-round amusement ride for kids to play on rain or shine. The hexagonal shaped carousel roof, in its original form, was too small to provide the necessary shelter from rain for the riders and spectators standing on the rotating circular platform. Singapore Zoo decided to upgrade the carousel in order to provide larger shade and rain protection to the users. The main challenge was to preserve the carousel in its original form and the new structure must blend seamlessly with the recently upgraded amphitheatre. An independent ADAS® Tensile Membrane structure, larger and higher than the existing carousel was commissioned to Multimedia Engineering, to be built at the same time to minimize disruption of the regular activities carried out in the area.
A conical-shaped ADAS® Tensile Membrane structure with a diameter of 22m and height of 12m was designed and built by Multimedia Engineering. Apart from providing better shading and rain protection, a unique fabric capping sitting on top of the tensile membrane structure, was incorporated into the structure. This acts as a ventilation outlet, allowing the hot air to escape from the top of the ring, promoting air circulation hence making it more comfortable for the riders especially on hot and humid days.