Behind the Scenes at the Roxy – A Conversation with Barzin Ghamami

Published on 20 September 2023


With over 60% of the trade packages let, and with the steel finally on-site as of last week, it’s all systems go at the Roxy Theatre.  

Temporary structural support is an important next step ahead of any penetrations being completed and the permanent steel structure being installed. 

A key person in this delicate demolition and propping phase is Barzin Ghamami, temporary structural works engineer from Adams Consulting Engineers. Barzin was drawn to the job because of the history behind the Roxy Community Theatre.  

“It’s fascinating to see how the Roxy was built almost 100 years ago. My job is to liaise with the builders to find the safest way to temporarily support the structure while the permanent steel structure is being installed and any wall penetrations completed,” he said. 

The scope of work requires removal of a few walls which are load bearing which means the walls above the new openings need to be temporarily supported. In addition, the roof structure will be strengthened in some locations where it has weakened over the years.

Barzin describes this next phase as, “Quite a complex undertaking”, noting the height of the ceiling and the fact that some walls were built using five skins of bricks – which is not something one sees every day.  

IMG_3520_compressed.jpg To support five skins of brick while permanent steel is being installed, Barzin has proposed a series of props, called needling props (pictured), which are used to transfer the load to the supports. This then allows the builder to remove the bricks as it is not load bearing anymore.

“Once the openings are done and the steel is brought in, I’ll be coming back on behalf of Adams Consulting Engineers to check on the installation, making sure that from a structural engineering perspective all the needling and propping has being done correctly,” he said.

When talking to Barzin about the project, it is clear he can feel the importance of the Roxy to the Leeton Shire community. He says he feels privileged to be a part of its journey.

“When I enter the Roxy Theatre I can tell straight away that it’s one of those very special places that is being lovingly restored and refurbished. I will always keep that in my heart and mind, both now and in decades to come.”