Capital Theatre loading dock improvements

Research, design and project management

Client City of Greater Bendigo, federal grant

Budget $150K

Design Brief The Capital loading dock had been identified as an OHS issue as early as 2 years after the building was reopened in 1990. For many years, theatre technicians would unload trucks down ramps to ground level, often in the rain, then load the lift and take the sets up to stage via the lift. The issue was the manual handling from the truck into the lift and an engineering solution was required.

Design Solution The primary goal was to be able to roll goods from the truck straight into the lift under cover. The difficulty was the various truck heights from 3 ton to semi, as well as the small shows that unload at ground level and the requirement to get things back and forth from the ground floor venues. A threefold solution was therefore required.

The problem was further compounded by the classification of the lift as a hoist and therefore unable to have more than two stopping positions.

The solution was to raise the lower height of the lift and build a platform at truck height. This incorporated a dock-leveller to cater for different heights of trucks, and required massive 4m footings. Also in order to be able to get goods to ground level, a lifting table was recessed into the ground in front of the dock which had a high rollover capacity so that trucks could still back up to the dock. The project architect then designed a roof for the dock.