Mowanjum Art Centre

Location: Derby (WA)

Undertaking steelwork construction in remote outback areas brings many challenges; distance, access, water, power and “where to go to, to buy that odd nut and bolt” that you inevitably find you run short of when erecting the facility on-site!

Sonnex completed a major steelwork construction job for the Mowanjum Art Centre just 10KM out of Derby in WA covering the supply and installation of the building structure. The steelwork and fabrication was all manufactured in South Australia from workshop drawings done in-house from an initial design from the WA architects. 

A key element of the success of the project was the complete CAD engineering drawing package for the manufacture and construction requirements” said Jano Tuchyna, Sonnex Director.  

Creating the workshop drawings presented some challenges and Sonnex used AutoDesk Inventor to create exploded views right down to brackets and cleats of all connections and joints required for the detailed manufacture and construction drawings.

"Using Autodesk Inventor allowed Sonnex design staff to send files direct to the Haco Laser Cutting and the Haco CNC Brake Press that resulted in low cost manufacturing in short time frames, which meant that schedule times could be easily met, without delay", said Jano Tuchyna.

The Mowanjum Art Centre is a purpose built Art and Tourist complex for the Mowanjum community. The design of the centre is based on Donny Woolagoodja's "Namarali" meaning "Warrior Chief of the Wandjina's" which is the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunambul peoples shared dreamtime, an image that was shared with the world at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. 

The Mowanjum Art Centre, of which Sonnex is proud to have been selected by Leamy Constructions of Derby WA as the supplier and installer of the steelwork, was delivered and erected over a period of 6 weeks ending in January 2006.  The facility is 60M in diameter and the area is approx 3002 metres. 

This multi-million project was on the drawing board for over 3 years and is a key focal point for promoting the rich culture and heritage of the Aboriginal community in the north-west Kimberley region. 

When asked "from a builders point of view, how difficult was it to construct", Wayne Holland of Leamy Constructions in WA responded "This building is circular and the setout is worked on Radials and Radiuses as opposed to the conventional latitude and longitudinal grid. The level of expertise, computer aided design systems, method of manufacture, sophistication of their equipment and appreciation of critical path programming displayed by Sonnex both on and off site was Exceptional. Each one of the thousands of components fitted together perfectly like a meccano set and the construction process went smoothly from start to finish. What we call in the construction industry, A DREAM JOB".

Key project successes, include the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of;  Structural steelwork and fabrication, Process plant and equipment, Conveyor systems for Australia and South Africa, Spray booths, Industrial presses, Robotic systems, and other specialty machinery.

Sonnex has a reputation of working with its customers to develop innovative, timely and low cost solutions to meet engineering challenges in structural steelwork & fabrication. Please feel free to contact Sonnex to discuss how we can help your business with similar projects.

  • Installation
  • Painting
  • Folding
  • Manufacture
  • Welding

SA Supply Chain

This Sonnex project has the following SA Product Register supply chain: