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On The Surface talks to the team at Perth Plaster Mouldings about the incredible elliptical skylight they created for Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre in Cannington, WA.
Led by Tom Pappas and Steve Koveski, Perth Plaster Mouldings is known for its high-quality workmanshop and specialist restoration work. The company has walked away with trophies from a number of AWCI's Awards of Excellence, most recently taking out top honours in the Commercial Up To $500k category in last year's national awards for thier work on the Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre.
Tasked with creating an enormous elliptical skylight for Westfield Carousel, Perth Plaster Mouldings was excited to be building a full-size model for the first time ever.
"We would normally just make a section of a model and then repeat castings" Steve explains.
"The full size of the ellipse was 15m longs and 11.5m wide. To complete the job, we first had to find a workshop that would accommodate the size of the dome and allow us to space to work around it"
Indeed, there were a number of challenges the team had to overcome in order to create a larger-than-life skylight.
"In preparing to complete the dome, the first task was the make the floor level, which we achieved by using plaster building blocks", Tom says.
"The main challenge, and one of the most critical components of the job, was to make sure all three axis points looked perfect. This was extremely difficult as the dome was designed to be on a tilt"
"We achieved this by casting aluminium flat bar into the model at the required heights. This ensured that we would then have a flowing ellipse. This information then allowed us to screed the whole dome using these three points. Once all the screeding was completed, the dome was sealed and 38 moulds were taken from it. From the moulds we then cast the finished product."
As with all their jobs, Tom and Steve utilised CSR casting plaster for the highest quality finish.
"This allows our cast to be lightweight while still maintaining high strength," Steve explains.
"We also use CSR cornice cement to adhere our products to walls and ceilings, and CSR casting plaster for grouting"
"Rondo clips, top cross rail and PGI angle was used throughout all the casting and also used in the installation of the products. We use Rondo's suspension system as it's a reliable product and complies with Australian Standards"
Once the ellipse was moulded, the next hurdle was the transportation of the dome to site
The team decided to transport the casts in the moulds, which would stop them from going out of shape, however, this meant they could only transport two moulds and two casts at one time.
The installation process was undertaken by Enzo Scarvaci from Finlay Group.
"Enzo's feedback was that this was one of the easiest pieces of plaster he has had to install," Tom says.
"The reason for this was we had consulted Enzo throughout the whole manufacturing process, which meant he knew exactly how to set up his Rondo grid system, which attached onto the dome with the 6mm."
The manufacturing of the skylight a huge project and an important milestone for the team at Perth Plaster Mouldings.
"We are very happy and proud of the finished product and would like to thank Finlay Group and Scentre Group for giving us the opportunity to manufacture a product so unique," Steve says