New Southern Star revealed
The new-look Southern Star Observation wheel has been publicly revealed for the first time exclusively to Docklands News.
The new wheel will have the same overall dimensions as the previous structure, which failed in January 2009, but has new internal geometry.
The design is more elegant, sleeker and far less complicated than the old wheel, which was decommissioned after only 40-days’ service due to cracks appearing in structural cross members.
Gone is the central hub and splayed supports where the spokes of the previous seven-pointed star met the outer wheel structure itself. The spokes of the new wheel are diamond shaped rather than square in cross-section – revealing a “star within a star”.
Its new clean lines will cut a far more imposing back-drop to the north-western edge of Docklands than its predecessor.
The new 120-metre tall structure is expected to open for business next year. All the new steel has arrived and fabrication work is being underway at two locations in Victoria and one in Tasmania.
Sanoyas Hishino Meisho Corporation is undertaking the reconstruction under warranty. The Japanese corporation has engaged a worldwide group of expert engineers including Arup, Aurecon, Hyder Consulting, Pitt and Sherry, Robert Bird and Associates and Brown and Tomkinson.
Three kilometres of LED lighting destined for the wheel has arrived and most of it will be installed while the structure is on the ground.
The installation of construction site hoardings and application of protective coverings to the wheel piazza, walkways and support buildings has been completed and foundation works for the new design are complete. An upgrade of existing cabins has also been completed •