Why Arup specified FireGuard in the Art Gallery of NSW sub-terranean “art bunker”

Won-Door were tasked with supplying and installing a bespoke fire separation solution for the Tank, a repurposed World War II bunker at Sydney Modern. The Won-Door team worked closely with Arup to retain Sydney Modern Project’s architectural vision, with the specification of a concealed, motorised horizontal sliding fire door.

Alistair Morrison, Principal & Australasian Service Lead – Fire Engineering, Arup comments on the projects fire safety design and the specification of the Won-Door;

“The fire safety challenges included large population numbers, flexibility of use and fuel loads, interconnected spaces, and the sustainability challenge of adapting existing structure and minimising mechanical demand.

“The Arup Fire Safety Engineers responded to the unique design characteristics by radically reducing the need for fire stairs and removed all smoke exhaust in the building. Arup were able to demonstrate safe conditions for egress, by using the sloping site to provide direct exit to outside at most levels and detailed analysis of multiple uses to demonstrate design resilience.

“The unique challenge of the Tank gallery meant considerable egress capacity was required using the 4m wide accessible entry opening in the tank wall that also formed part of the fire and smoke compartmentation strategy.

“To do this Arup needed to maintain the architectural vision of retaining the opening as a beacon for patrons within the darkened atmosphere, which meant conventional doors and frames would have a negative aesthetic even with hold open devices. The design team therefore reached out to Won-Door to help achieve the need for fire and smoke performance, combined with a resilient reopening and closing function and intuitive signage and functionality, whilst being hidden from day-to-day view.

“Testing reports and close design collaboration meant that evidence was available to demonstrate the performance objectives could be achieved and the team were able to make a well-informed decision about the best design solution. This led to the adoption and successful commissioning of the Won-Door system,” concludes Alistair.

Nick Askelund, Director of Won-Door Australia says that “when specifying Won-Door it’s not what you see that is important, it’s what you don’t see”. The door assembly is completely top hung with no floor tracks or exposed hardware, providing clean and unimpeded sightlines. A truly hidden and concealed solution that is only seen when deploying under alarm activation.

Won-Door FireGuard is manufactured in the US by Won-Door Corporation, who pioneered the world’s first ever horizontal sliding fire partition back in the 1970’s. Today Won-Door Corporation are the world’s largest manufacturer of accordion folding partitions and the world leader in design, innovation, and reliability when it comes to sliding fire doors.

Won-Door AU/NZ was established in 1987 and are the licensee for Won-Door products in the South Pacific. Notable installations include Lion Nathan Homebush Offices, Waggawagga Base Hospital, Broadway Ultimo Shopping Centre, #1 Castlereagh Street, Commercial Bay/PWC Tower, Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington, Lyttleton Port, Statistics NZ offices, & Porsche Christchurch.


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