Smooth sailing at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club with Fielders ARAMAX®


A contemporary new building has risen on the banks of Perth’s Swan River. Its low-profile design and dark colour palette see it sit comfortably against a green background of manicured lawns and green foliage – it’s restrained yet beautifully detailed.

The latest addition to the shoreline is Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club’s Dinghy and Training Centre, new facilities that allow the club to provide sailing courses for eager water enthusiasts, who range anywhere from four years of age to older adults. The structure also provides housing facilities for the watercraft used in these courses.

While in the past functional buildings of this nature may have forgone aesthetics in exchange for functionality, the new Dinghy and Training Centre manages to combine both very well, by employing clever design and material selection.

Although featuring a restrained form, an aspect of the building that’s immediately noticeable is the roof cladding, Fielders ARAMAX® in double sided COLORBOND® Ultra steel in colour Windspray – it’s a profile that is fast gaining popularity with architects and industrial designers who are specifying the material in projects of scale for its unique look and functionality.

Fielders Architectural Manager – WA, Adam Johnson-Kain, explains how ARAMAX® was chosen for the Dinghy and Training Centre.

“Architects MJA Studio wanted a unique profile that had large spanning capabilities, and after undertaking a full feasibility study identified ARAMAX® as the perfect product for the functionality and aesthetic they sought for this project,” Adam said. 

“This application provided the perfect scenario – ARAMAX®’s oversized V-shaped profile creates a striking visual aesthetic, while the material’s structural rigidity provides long-spanning capabilities of up to 20 metres, which allows greater design freedom. At 1.2mm base metal thickness, ARAMAX® is also capable of handling extreme wind loadings.”

At the Dinghy and Training Centre, the ARAMAX® delivers a generous front roof overhand creating a verandah affect without needing supporting structure, this allows easier maneuvering of watercraft in and out of the building, with the bonus of unobstructed views onto Freshwater Bay. It’s a similar story inside, with minimal steel supports needed ensuring more usable open space – an added benefit of having less substructure is reduced steel cost. Long-spanning capabilities have also eliminated roofing joints on the build, minimising the likelihood of water leaks.  

Given the building’s marine location on a saltwater estuary, the ARAMAX® was manufactured from COLORBOND® Ultra steel incorporating BlueScope’s Activate® technology, which is specifically designed to combine long-term durability and enhanced corrosion resistance. COLORBOND® Ultra steel has been heavily tested in accelerated corrosion trials at BlueScope’s laboratories, as well as in extensive outdoor testing in severe Australian conditions, providing reassurance for its use in harsh environments.

Adam said that Fielders was also able to offer a professional onsite Mobile Mill service for the ARAMAX®, adding additional flexibility to the project.

“While ARAMAX® can of course be roll formed at the factory to any transportable length, given it becomes a structural roof, onsite milling is preferrable and provides benefits such as rapid install, an ability to adapt to site changes, and allows us to create lengths of major continuous spans,” he said.

“Fielders’ Mobile Mill™ is managed by a specialist team of technicians and engineers who work very closely with the roofer, builder and architect – it’s a coordinated effort that saves installation time and increases efficiency, while also providing assurance that if a miscalculation occurs, it can be addressed and rectified on site.”

Architect’s view

Architect Ash Blackwell from MJA Studio, was intimately involved in the project and said that ARAMAX® was unique in what it brought to the training centre.

“We sought to design a roof structure that delivered large interior spaces free of support columns, which then extending and cantilevered outside at the front of the building providing protection from the elements and a clear view to the water,” Ash explained.  

“With its suitability to create massive spans, ARAMAX® was the only product that would allow us to achieve our design goals and at the same time gave us a profile that was quite striking.”

Ash said that at the time of construction, the project was only the second in the greater Perth area to have included ARAMAX®.

“There were some learnings for us especially in how we incorporated the building’s services, but together the consulting team achieved good outcomes, and with this experience we’re now in a much stronger position for next time.”

Now open since December 2021, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club’s is welcoming the next generation of eager ‘boaties’ to the new Dinghy and Training Centre and Ash said that the feedback from users had excellent.

“The design is extremely contemporary and very different to the more traditional architecture you can see at the site, but the combination works well. I’m extremely pleased that the users and custodians of the site was willing to experiment with something exciting and new – we’ve had incredibly good feedback about the building from everyone.”      


Fielders ARAMAX® structural cladding system is a unique V-shaped roofing profile that is bigger, bolder and deeper than conventional steel cladding profiles available on the market. The product is manufactured in standard 800mm cover width, with 700mm to 900mm cover widths available upon request.

ARAMAX® is produced on a mobile roll-former and has the unique ability to be rolled onsite anywhere in the world, reducing construction time and improving project efficiencies. Project applications include commercial buildings, residential houses, shade structures and commercial shelters.