Melbourne Star Observation Wheel Rectification Design

Structural Designer


Client Name

Sanoyas Rides Corporation


Melbourne, Australia

Images: © Arup / SRC


Following the original opening of the Southern Star Observation Wheel’s operations in December 2008, defects manifested themselves which resulted in the closure of the Wheel in January 2009. Arup was subsequently appointed to carry out rectification design services and led the re-design of the new Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, after a forensic exercise to identify the cause of the original failure and decide which elements could be reused. The new Wheel is the largest compression wheel of its type in the world, supporting 21 passenger cabins, incorporating the retained spindle, hub and bearing elements from the original Wheel.

Judge's comment:

The judges admired the designers dedicated approach to the redesign of this most high-profile of projects.  Working within the constraints of the retained elements and associated weight restrictions, they carried out extensive optioneering to identify the most elegant and  optimal structural form and highly detailed development of all elements and connections to redistribute material to those most susceptible to fatigue.

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