Warratah Shopping Centre
We were commissioned to create a large external Santa House that would accommodate a Santa Set big enough for Santa, Mrs Claus, several elves, and visiting families. It had to have significant ‘wow’ factor to generate new visitors to the centre.
The design constraints were complex: The Santa House was to take over a large section of the partially undercover forecourt facing the car park. It needed to be weather tight and secured at the end of each day. It had to be built in a modular form to be transported, assembled and disassembled each year. Preferably it would pack down to fit inside a 20ft container.
The summer weather conditions and storms needed to be considered in the design to be structurally sound and pass all the required engineering certification for a temporary structure. As the Santa House would fully enclose Santa and his helpers, it also needed to provide external viewing options as well as a level of interest for the children who would be queuing for their turn to see Santa.
The structure needed to be free standing without attachment to an existing structure and would also need to deal with the slope of the site.
An Elizabethan Village inspired Santa House was fully constructed in our workshop.
The Santa House structure was an innovative use of modern materials – using click together insulated wall panels, light-weight carved trims held in place with strong magnets and light-weight structural materials for the flooring and other components. Two external facing animated Christmas puppetry windows were included in the design and these roll in and roll out units can be changed every couple of years as required.
The design challenges were met and the Santa house project was managed to budget with the final structure achieving engineering certification to Australian Standards.
At the unveiling of the Santa House on its first night, over 4000 people attended with families delighted by the whole Santa experience.