A Monster Installation

Client:  Echo Entertainment Group
Agency:  Armature Design Support
Brief:  Produce and install a 14-metre skeletal dragon frame for new celebrity chef restaurant

nguyenWhen celebrity chef Luke Nguyen (pictured left) teamed up with casino entertainment group, Echo Entertainment Group, to open a new Fat Noodle restaurant at the Treasury Casino and Hotel in Brisbane — they wanted ‘wow factor’.  And Big Kahuna Imagineering helped to deliver it.

Working closely with Trent Baker from Armature Design Support (ADS), BKI was engaged to develop, supply and fabricate a skeletal frame of a dragon to adorn the entrance and corridor of the new Fat Noodle.  And not just any dragon — a 14-metre monster snaking its way through the corridors.

Fat-Noodle-Brisbane-Dragon-Installation-BKI-7To kick off the project, we produced a 1:10 scale clay maquette of the dragon in the context of surrounding architecture, based on the sketches and plans provided.  We first created a mesh rendition but then opted to reproduce the maquette from a vacuum-formed clear acrylic pattern to better define the scope of works’ relative form as regarded from above (structural side) and below (sculptural side).

From the maquette, we constructed a modular, steel frame. The spine of the dragon was segmented into six sections and, once in place, the armature was clad in brass and stainless steel scales fabricated by ADS.

With the sections ready to fly and the Big Kahuna team fresh out of elevated work platform training courses, we jetted off to Brisbane — bags packed with nuts, washers, LED modules and other assorted necessities for installing the beast.

In such an organic form, the 390-kg dragon was quite a challenge to hang in the heritage building — what with Buildcorp project personnel and suits crawling all over it!! But once it was up and the lights went on, the restaurant had its “wow factor”.

“With time pressure and technical design challenges, it was a relief to have Will, Steve and the BKI team on board. From the beginning, Will had an instant understanding of the job brief and imagined an ingenious system for lamp replacement… an artwork in its’ own right. The quality of craftsmanship, made possible by an intimate understanding of materials and processes, is evident in the final result. A thoroughly satisfied client.” — Trent Baker, Director of Armature Design Support

Fat Noodle Brisbane opened in December 2012 and the fit out is getting rave reviews on the blogosphere!

maquette of dragon form copy

Making of Fat Noodle Brisbane Dragon BKI


dragon scale prototype



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