Stokes Hill Wharf – RFDS ‘Bombing of Darwin’ Refurbishment
Complete overhaul and refurbishment of old Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) Stokes Hill Wharf site to accommodate a 70 seat theatre, 12 virtual reality booths, point of sale for retail, retail area, reception and payment desk for tours.
This project was completed using 100% local personnel, suppliers and subcontractors including:
- A & J Communications
- Babunbaree Aboriginal Corporation
- Boog Air
- Choices Flooring Darwin
- Darwin City Council
- Darwin Concrete Pumping
- Electrical & Fire Services
- Jakes Steel & Welding
- JJS Cleaning Service
Construction and Refurbishment Overview
This highly unique project was broken down in to two sections; a part demolition of the existing structure, followed by the renovation of the building.
The first stage – the part demolition of the existing terminal building, consisted of removing the existing decking within the southern-end of the building, along with the removal of a small section of the building. This opened up the southern-end of the building, preparing it for the extension, which would see an increase to the building’s size by an additional 240 m2.
Once stage one was complete, the Probuild NT team proceeded to remove all internal walls, as well as all the cladding on the east (ocean) side and half of the northern end of the building. This left only the roof, west wall cladding, half the north wall and the structural steel.
Our Project Team identified that some types of materials would have long lead times, therefore, it was vital for team to order material early on and in the right quantities to ensure that the short timeframe of the project was met.
The renovation of this particular building was quite unique in that the underfloor plumbing and bolting of structural steel for the extension all had to be completed under the wharf itself, which was quite a challenge!
This element of the project had us relying solely on high-tides in order to complete the tasks safely, which sometimes only gave our team a 40-minute window to work with.
More interesting parts of the project included the placement of a decommissioned RFDS Pilatus PC 12 aircraft into the extension. This took approximately two-hours from when the Probuild NT transportation truck arrived, to when the aircraft was carefully and safely placed. The RFDS Pilatus PC-12 was not the only aircraft to be positioned in the building. We also placed full-scale replica of a Japanese Zero, which is suspended from one of the existing portal frames that had to be strengthened in the construction phase.
In addition to the decommissioned and completely medically equipped RFDS Pilatus PC 12 and the Japanese Zero aircraft, this world class facility features cutting-edge holographic and virtual reality technology that allows visitors to experience the February 19, 1942 Bombing of Darwin and learn more about the activities of the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS).
The renovation of the building was fairly straightforward for the experienced Probuild Project Team, who rose to the challenge that the installation of the technological element poised. The interactive nature of this technology meant that there were a lot of small components, with the team having to complete one installation before the next element could start. Time management was crucial at this point, which with many of our staff works in close proximity around each other.
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