Balaclava Railway Station, in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs is one of Melbourne’s oldest dating back to 1859. Since that time it has seen a few upgrades leading up to the current refurbishment that was approved in June 2012. This major $13.3 million upgrade to the station and its facilities included major improvements to the ascetic of the station where Futurewood’s EnviroSlat Cladding (60 mm x 40 mm) in Walnut with a coarse sanded finish was the product of choice.
Architect Ken Ng was in charge of bringing the original design concept for the railway station to life. One of the first things he had to change was the timber which was originally specified in the design concept. Timber was specified to create a sense of warmth and softness for this railway station as railway stations are often constructed purely of colder materials such as concrete and steel. Ken wanted to maintain and preserve the soft warm feeling the timber provided so he replaced it with Futurewood EnviroSlat, a product which looks and feels like timber but which requires a lot less upfront and ongoing maintenance. Futurewood’s EnviroSlat Cladding was perfect for this project because it doesn’t split or splinter which makes it safer than timber and it doesn’t warp or twist like timber can which means it will remain looking fantastic for many years to come. Unlike tradition timber it will not need to be sanded and painted / oiled every ~12 months which will provide a significant cost saving to the stations owners.
Another important criterion for Ken Ng and his team of designers from CCG Architects was to construct the Railway Station from a material from which graffiti could be easily removed. The design team conducted several graffiti removal tests and found that graffiti was very easy to remove from Futurewood’s EnviroSlat product simply by using an off-the-shelf graffiti removal product available from most hardware stores.
Ken Ng also noted that Futurewood agreed to stock spare boards for them should they need any replacements in the future; yet another example of the Futurewood team going that extra mile to ensure the client was satisfied.
Balaclava Railway station was re-opened to the public in Oct 2014. It forms part of the Sandringham line which services ~160,000 Melbournians every day.