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2017 Awards for Excellence Winner – Commercial Shade Sail

Duncan’s Canvas Ltd                                                                                   

Project name:  Zoo Tree             

Fabric used: Comshade

Fabric Supplied by: W. Wiggins

Components supplied by:Vulcan Steel, EDL Fasteners

What did the client request?

Zoo Tree Sunshade HamiltonA large tree which shaded the viewing platform in the rhinoceros enclosure at Hamilton Zoo died and had to be removed and a solution to provide shade was needed.

The viewing platform had been built around the tree.  The client had not idea how to get the dead tree out because of the location and needed shade which was in keeping with the environment.  It was also urgent as it was a heavily used public place and there was no shade.

The client requested us to remove the dead tree and provide a shade solution which was unobtrusive.  It needed to cover a deck 9m in diameter and be visually pleasing.


What is unique or complex about the project?

The logistics of the project was complex. The viewing platform was several metres above the ground and reached only by a board walk over the rhinoceros paddock. No heavy machinery could be taken over the decking as it would not support it.  We arranged for the rhinoceroses to be moved, then brought in a crane truck with a drill and drilled out the tree stump and installed the galvanised steel structure.  

The shade sail we designed was unique because we aimed to create a steel “tree”.  We designed it inhouse and bent up all the poles in our own workshop.  We made connecting plates profile cut to a special shape and size.

 Duncans Canvas OFPANZ Winner Zoo Shade Sail Tree

What were the results of the project?

The result was a shade sail which blended with the environment and looked like it was part of the tree canopy.  It provided a huge shade area with poles obstructing the view area – all the structure was in the centre where the original tree trunk was. The viewing deck did not have to be altered to accommodate the sail.  We used “blue gum” coloured mesh as this best matched the type of plants in the area.


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