Malthouse Theatre Outdoor Stage Roof

Malthouse Theatre Outdoor Stage Roof


Project specifications

With the entertainment industry changing to adapt to the pandemic, we were tasked with helping Malthouse Theatre create a sustainable, beautiful outdoor performance space. 

Unique challenges

The stage was being created as a replacement theatre for a whole summer season and beyond. It needed to be reliable, aesthetically pleasing, long lasting and also able to be stage lit. The roof structure also needed to be built in such a way that it could be installed in less than two days.

When we came onto the project the truss support structure was already designed and in fabrication, meaning our job was to retrofit roofing configurations and framework to this existing truss structure.


We brought in our knowledge and experience from the permanent tension membrane structure area of our business to make this work.
To deal with the limitations of point loads on the existing truss we ran a series of Finite element engineering analysis with our in-house fabric structure engineering team.

We then designed the steel support structure that was attached to the truss work, as well as engineered and fabricated the membrane roof.
To make the structure fast to install, we used a configuration of off-the-shelf fittings to make it easy for riggers to install the framework and roof membrane within a two day time frame.

One of the most aesthetic components of this project was a selection of materials. We used permanent tension membrane material with high translucency. It creates a beautiful glow when lit at night, keeps the area bright during the day, and acts as a screen for projections during shows.


The end result was a practical roof structure that can be packed away, transported, and maintained during the off-season then reinstalled for many seasons to come.

The solution exceeded our client’s expectations by being practical as well as having a unique, open visual aspect and being not just a roof, but a beautiful feature for theatre-goers.

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Location: Southbank, Melbourne
Client: Malthouse Theatre
Sector: Commercial, Events, Staging