When our team heard that Canberra Metro, or the Canberra Light Rail Network, had an exciting structural project on their agenda, we couldn’t help but perk up at the mention.
With an elegant 12km line linking Gungahlin’s City Centre to 13 stops, we could envision what the presence of 5 sub-stations might look like if done properly.
The initial intention was to source timber screening battens at the necessary size for the architects’ design, but after full evaluation of the project brief sourcing the right materials was proving to be quite challenging.
When our team right here at Futurewood were enlisted to help, it became obvious that the cost of maintaining timber would result in a cash-sink – and that’s when we came up with a beautiful, custom-made solution to match the architects’ exact parameters.
Façade panelling that would look as stunning from up close, as it was resilient to all that the elements could throw at it.
The great thing about this type of material is that it’s more than capable of resisting the harsh weather and it can be designed and utilised in some very interesting ways, making it very adaptable for a wide range of construction requirements.
That’s where the fun began – creating an iconic structure to stand the test of time, whilst enhancing the physical appeal of the sub-stations in need of a fresh look.
Who Said Style Had to Reduce Functionality?
Now this composite timber material isn’t your everyday, run of the mill hybrid resource; it’s fantastic at withstanding UV rays and just as good at shrugging off the effects of rain and bad weather (whilst being an excellent way to use reclaimed plastic and cellulose materia)l. In the simplest terms, we wanted to introduce a sustainable powerhouse capable of deterring the shockingly harsh winters and humid summers that the Australian Capital Territory is known for.
After the project brief, it became obvious that the main desire of the task was to meet the above criteria without detracting from the aesthetics that the architect had in mind.
As you’ll undoubtedly notice from the photos, this was no ordinary concept design; there were angles, protrusions and a multitude of unique features to enhance aesthetics as well as security.
On a personal level, we couldn’t wait to get to grips with the project because it would really utilise our skills and allow us to demonstrate that no matter the task, our team could be counted on.
Within these sub-stations is a host of industrial equipment which is hardly appealing to observe. As a result, the screening designed to securely house them would need to provide visual appeal and hide the box-like transformers within each unit.
That’s Just the Tip of the Iceberg
To provide additional physical appeal of the structure, 2 colour combinations were chosen and used. In our opinion (and that of friendly onlookers), the tone-combo was as elegant from up-close as from afar.
Each batten has 3 visible sides, which were rough-sanded to match the architect’s concept. As we were able to cut no less than 2 screening battens from a larger rectangular piece; we minimised waste and felt great about doing so.
Never a team to shy away from a task, we went above and beyond to establish a unique process that did exactly what the architect and his team had intended; to create a multi-directional timber, which were in turn cut from larger composite timber pieces, minimising waste. Thanks to the development of the manufacturing method to create the necessary angled battens, the composite timber screens almost appear to come to life as they are viewed by someone passing by.
What were we most proud of?
Being able to create a cost-effective product that met the architects brilliantly conceptualised idea and working closely with Metro Construction and the John Holland procurement teams to ensure a smooth transition from concept to reality, was by far one of our proudest achievements.
For those of you that might be keen to learn more about the stunning colour combination that we used, it was an iconic blend of Slate Grey and Chocolate – two tones that would suit many outdoor structures. They are just two of the hues that we can provide however; there are a multitude of other options available to those in need.
If you’ve had your creative-side tickled and you feel that now’s the time to get in touch with our friendly team right here at Futurewood, what’s stopping you? We’re a phone call or email away and we’d genuinely enjoy nothing more than to help you to take advantage of our exclusive products and services.