Certified timber at the heart of Heyfield’s new community hub

SPORTING clubs are often a critical factor in building and maintaining a sense of community in small regional towns and the facilities used to house them are often much more than just change rooms for sport, providing a meeting place and social hub as well as community facility used for larger functions.

Oval view: Timber screening is extended to the cantilevered covered areas, providing a stronger and united building expression.

Wellington Council in Victoria’s East Gippsland recognised this pivotal role and set out to rejuvenate the town’s sporting pavilion as part of a wider master plan to upgrade the Gordon Street Recreation Reserve.

The pavilion, which hadn’t been upgraded for 30 years, is a central hub for the community of Heyfield and home to the local football, netball, basketball, cricket and even pigeon racing clubs.

Architect Paul Katz describes the pavilion upgrade as providing “a fresh lease on life with new and upgraded features. The new and existing façade is expressed with timber battens wrapped around the building creating a strong and inviting presence to the pavilion.”

Wellington Council had expressed a keen desire in its brief for the building to lead by example, incorporating a design that was sustainable and beautiful. The solution was to use timber in a dynamic and highly visible way on the pavilion’s façade and to incorporate timber into the flooring, joinery and cabinetry as well as bench seating.

To ensure the timber satisfied the brief’s sustainability criteria, 100% of the timber used in this project was certified. The flooring, timber battens around the

façade and kitchen bar and server joinery were all sourced from the ASH mill in Heyfield, which is a mill that is certified by Responsible Wood to Australian Standard 4707 relating to chain of custody.

A spokesperson from ASH explained the importance of this project to the company: “This project is very close to our hearts, as our head office and mill are located in the heart of Heyfield. This community is such a caring, supportive group of people, we wanted to give a little back to the town that has given us so much.”

The Gordon Street Reserve Pavilion has been short-listed as a finalist in the 19th Australian Timber Design Awards in Sydney on October 16. Responsible Wood is the sponsor of the Australian Certified Timber category.

A strong timber flavour internally: locally sourced Vic Ash flooring features internally and serves a multitude of uses.
Cantilevered canopy detail: The cantilevered canopy lifts towards the oval to take in the sporting spectacle and views of the oval.

On the waterfront – “If these walls could talk…”

Macq 01 Hotel – harnessing the architecture of its surroundings 

The timber is an important contextual cue to the working nature of the port

The expression “If these walls could talk…” could very well apply to the new Macq 01 Hotel located on Hobart’s waterfront. It is situated on a wharf imbued with history and tales of flames, bushranger hangings and the city’s convict past.

However, there is little about the outward appearance of this stylish contemporary 114-suite hotel to suggest its location’s dark past, although the interiors feature quirky images of the colourful characters who once eked out a living here.

On closer inspection, there are details introduced by architects Circa Morris Nunn that reflect the old pier’s robust, functional construction such as the visually-heavy timber framing of the building. In fact, the integration of this new hotel with its neighbouring heritage buildings has been held up by Hobart community groups as a leading example of how old and new can co-exist in this historic location.

As well as solving the challenge of seamlessly blending old and new visually, timber was selected as the preferred material for cladding and decking in order to deal with the weight-bearing limitations of the existing concrete wharf piles which previously only supported a single-storey shed. Timber cladding and decking around a steel frame was a lightweight solution which in no way compromised on quality and actually appeared more in-keeping with the historic waterfront location than other materials.

Lined in White Cypress, finished by hand with orbital sander

White Cypress with Responsible Wood accreditation was selected for its robust characteristics and ability to “grey-off” and age gracefully in a marine environment. Timber was also selected for the decking and for a large central vertical atrium that runs through the central space on each level of the hotel providing an opening for natural daylight from above. Externally and internally it is timber which defines the hotel’s character.

Circa Morris Nunn Director, Robert Morris Nunn explains the importance of specifying certified timber for this project by saying: “Circa Morris Nunn has a proud history of innovative timber use. As the value of timber as a sustainable construction material becomes more widely known it is important for us, as architects, to take responsibility and only specify certified timbers. This is particularly the case in Tasmania where forest practices are at the forefront of public consciousness. Public buildings or those commercial buildings with a public interface such as Macq01 are increasingly being constructed using timber and chain of custody is a critical component of this public awareness.”

By using timber from Hurford Wholesale, a timber mill certified by Responsible Wood, Circa Morris Nunn enjoyed the assurance that the timber was not only of optimum quality but was sourced from a forest exercising best practice in sustainability. This is verified by independent, ongoing and transparent checks against the two Australian forestry standards AS 4708 for sustainable practice and AS 4707 for chain of custody by Australia’s leading certification body, Responsible Wood.

Harnessing the architectural spirit of the surrounding old pier buildings, Macq01 is a shining example of how timber can be used to link old and new visually while recognising the critical importance of best practice in sustainable forestry. It pays tribute to the past without compromising our forests’ future.

Macq 01 has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 19th Australian Timber Design Awards hosted in Sydney on Tuesday the 16th of October 2018. Responsible Wood is the sponsor for the Australian Certified Timber Category.

For media enquiries please contact Jason Ross from Responsible Wood on (07) 3359 1758, jross@responsiblewood.org.au

White Cypress was used in many sizes for the cladding of the skin, balconies and ground floor decking
Thick white cypress balconies were used to provide shading and privacy and help to break down the scale of the facade

Certified river red gum returns historic wharf to its former glory

WHY re-build a wharf that was pulled down in the 1950s?

This was the first question architects Terroir asked in reviewing Gannawarra Shire Council’s brief.

The council and local community in northern Victoria had actually been considering the project for many years in the hope that revitalising this focal point of the local history might, in some way, help reinvigorate a community suffering from a downturn in the local agro-economy.

The award winning Koondrook Wharf, re-constructed from magnificent river red gums.

It was worth the wait. The new Koondrook Wharf, opened in 2016, recently picked up three Victorian Architecture Awards including the Regional Prize Architecture Award, Urban Design Architecture Award and Small Projects Architecture Award. The wharf has also been shortlisted for the 2018 World Architecture Festival Awards, to be held in Amsterdam in November.

And what better resource for the wharf’s timber construction – red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), the most widely distributed eucalyptus species in Australia that lines the Murray River and most of its length.

This striking red gum timber is not only a renewable resource it was harvested from state forests (VicForests) within 4 km of the site, minimising the impacts of transporting materials over long distances by road. VicForests’ operations are certified by Responsible Wood ensuring best practice in sustainable forest management.

Some 98% of Australia’s commercial forests are certified by Responsible Wood.

The timber was supplied by Arbuthnot Sawmills, a family company established on its present site at Koondrook by Alexander (Sandy) Arbuthnot in 1889, only 200 m from the wharf. It was air dried, minimising the energy used in kiln-drying.

Terroir’s Scott Balmforth describes the project as “more than just a wharf: it is a place to experience, not only providing a greater connection between the township and the Murray River but exemplifying this unique location and showcasing local history”.

Ganawarra Shire Council had three objectives – to stimulate tourism through the provision of mooring for houseboats, paddle steamers and private boats; to create a community asset that connects the township to the river, extending the adjacent Apex public park so it could host public and private events; and to celebrate the local area’s history and honour the national heritage significance of the Murray River region.

The wharf was constructed in 1881 at a time when the town of Koondrook was known for boat building and as a freight centre for the movement of local farm produce as a key part of the river, rail and road network. The wharf also made Koondrook an important trading stop for riverboat journeys. It was finally decommissioned in the 1950s.

While remaining mindful of this important history, Terroir has delivered a visionary design which blends form and function and showcases the quality of local materials, especially the magnificent Murray River red gum, which is the main material for both the decking and the structure itself and reinforces the connection between riverbank and river

Constructed alongside the original wharf, which is marked by a set of memorial piers, the new wharf facility allows visitors to walk the 28-metre ramp down onto a floating pontoon positioned within the river, to gain a new perspective of the Murray.

The pontoon has an operable ramp enabling boat access, regardless of the water level and is also suited to recreational pursuits such as canoeing and fishing. Viewing platforms weave through the existing Murray River red gum trees and feature red gum decking laid lengthways to create the effect of the timber ‘coming in’ from the river – a subtle reference to the logs that were once unloaded from paddle steamers for the nearby sawmill.

This red gum timber is also central to art works that tell the story of the Aboriginal inhabitants of the area and are strategically placed along pathways, framing key vantage points across the river.

A standout feature is the old tram turntable at the wharf’s entrance, which has been resurfaced with a red gum, slate and basalt mural by Aboriginal artists Glenn Romanis and Aunty Esther Kirby.

Today not only does Koondrook have a community asset worthy of architectural awards, but an attraction which is genuinely environmentally sustainable.

Responsible Wood is a leading forest management and chain-of-custody certification system, developed specifically for Australia, verifying that all wood products associated with it have come from sustainably and responsibly-managed Australian forests.

The Arbuthnot Sawmills, a family company established 1889, provided the red gum timbers for the reconstruction of Gannawarra Shire Council’s Koondrook Wharf in regional Victoria.
Polished performance… red river gum dining table.

UQ’s advanced engineering building a ‘living building’ showstopper

The University of Queensland’s advanced engineering building is an inspirational showcase of a ‘living building’.

Designed by Richard Kirk Architects in partnership with Hassell, the 5 Star Green Star rated building is an award winning demonstration of Australian excellence in environmental architecture. As cars, phones, computers and digital devices are getting smarter, so too should buildings. This was the Architects motivation.

The building is also home to the GHD Auditorium; an engineering masterpiece set to inspire those who learn within its walls for decades to come. The decision to construct the auditorium entirely out of timber was not only to achieve the aesthetic interaction between the natural environment, but also the structural functionality and environmental impact of the building. The auditorium’s 215-tonne roof is supported entirely by impressive timber members that span the entire 30-metre-wide space.
Hyne Timber’s prefabricated GLT components, all Responsible Wood certified, were grown, harvested, milled and engineered in Queensland. The hardwood beams were Hyne beam 21 which are unique to Hyne Timber.
Rob Mansell, Hyne Timber’s Commercial GLT Business Development Manager said this was a great example of working closely throughout the design phase,
“Where an average project might involve a few pages of drawings, this particular project involved over 2000 pages of drawings.
“Being involved with the detailing prior to fabrication allowed for early discovery and resolution of conflicts, and coordination with other building components and services.
“Our offsite prefabrication service also ensured accuracy and time efficiency with the onsite installation – cutting down the overall construction phase timeline considerably.
“The assembled trusses were so large that they had to be transported in the middle of the night but they could be assembled in place and when completed, lifted in a single day!” Mr Mansell concluded.

The project Architects won the Engineered Timber category in the Australian Timber Design Awards and later took out three categories in the National Architecture Awards for:

  • Public Architecture Awards – The Sir Zelman Cowan Award;
  • Interior Architecture – The Emil Sodersten Award; and
  • Sustainable Architecture – National Award.

In the latter, jury awards citations acknowledged the use of Queensland timber, the 5 Star Green Rating of the building and acknowledgement that this “spectacular use of timber makes the auditorium a delightful space to occupy – radiating geometry”. The jury went on to further acknowledge a softness more usually associated with residential architecture because of their use of timber.

The Advanced Engineering Building at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus was a collaborative project funded by the Australian Government, Queensland Government, and The University of Queensland, with philanthropic support from GHD.

The assembled trusses were so large that they had to be transported in the middle of the night but they could be assembled in place and when completed, lifted in a single day!

Sustainable Australian wood panels feature in Melbourne Recital Centre

The Melbourne Recital Centre is an acclaimed music destination combining architectural innovation and acoustic perfection within its two performance spaces to showcase the best music, artists and ensembles from around the world.

The centre’s interior is lined with striking plywood panels of hoop pine sourced from Responsible Wood-certified plantations in southeast Queensland.
The building won the Property Council’s National Award for Public Buildings – the country’s highest award for a public buildings. It also won the Victorian Architecture Medal, the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture and the Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design at the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Architecture Awards.
Developed by Lend Lease and designed by Aston Raggatt McDougal, the $75 million building is considered “acoustically perfect”, drawing fundamental influence from the traditional box shape of European concert halls.
The auditorium is lined with striking hoop pine panels, designed to resemble the back of a beautiful instrument, and provides greater acoustic intimacy across the 1000-seat auditorium.
The symmetrical routed plywood panelling has a 3D textured surface which optimises the acoustics in the same way as the lumpy gilded caryatides, friezes, dentils and coffers in halls of earlier eras.
Specifically chosen for its acoustic and aesthetic properties, the ‘A’ grade plywood used for the wall panels were supplied by Brisbane-based Austral Plywoods, manufacturer of premium grade plywood.
Austral Plywoods is committed to environmental sustainability and has Responsible Wood chain-of-custody certification – the Australian standard for sustainable wood and wood products.
The raw material that went into the plywood supplied for the Melbourne Recital Centre was 100% sourced from Responsible Wood-certified plantations run by HQ Plantations, and has a Super E0 rating.
Responsible Wood certified timber offers the widest choice of sustainably sourced, Australian timber available to architects, specifiers and designers in the country including, blackbutt, ironbark, spotted gum, blue gum, spotted gum, mountain ash, kauri and jarrah.

Routed ‘A’ grade hoop pine plywood panelling in the Elizabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Photo: MRC Architecture
The Melbourne Recital Centre maintains the grandeur of old-world concert halls. Photo: MRC Architecture

Responsible Wood-certified cypress choice for $38m Hobart wharf project

Hobart architects Circa Morris-Nunn set high standards in their selection of wood for their award-winning structures – it must be robust and dense, blend aesthetically with other materials … and carry the highest credentials for certification and sustainability.

All this criteria is on vivid display in their design of the $38 million MAC01 hotel complex at Hobart’s Macquarie wharf re-development site, where Queensland white cypress is used in a magnificent three-dimensional faceted façade.
Sourced from the Hurford family’s Chinchilla sawmill on Queensland’s western downs, the cypress is certified to Responsible Wood’s standards for sustainable forest management (AS 4708) and chain-of-custody standards for forest products (AS 4707).
“This certification is very important to us,” David Johnston, an architect with Circa Morris-Nunn, said.
Company director Robert Morris-Nunn added: “It’s about responsibility, both ecological and social, which is often underestimated.
“We believe that responsible use of environmental resources is the responsibility of those who de¬sign and build.”’
More than 30,000 lineal metres of cypress produced from Responsible Wood certified sustainable forests in Queensland was used for the pitched roof, cladding – a mixture of 200x50m and 150x50m kiln-dried profile boards screw-fixed to external skins – and for hotel balconies and decks.
“The timber was specifically used for its sustainability, material specification to meet fire hazard codes and durability for the waterside location,” David Johnston said.
Small amounts of cvpress were used initially for walkways in the early stages of the project. The architects warmed to the species, using the “chosen timber” throughout the building. They had scoured timber merchants for supply and found Hurfords at Chinchilla was the only mill able to provide the amount of feedstock needed.
Hurford’s chain-of-custody certification was a bonus.
The pitched-roof structure, built to resemble a shipping shed, blends timber and glass to capture grand views over Sullivans Cove and Hunter Street’s 19th-century facades.
Tasmanian oak was used as a feature cladding timber in one wall of the building.
After demolition of the existing warehouse on the site the weight of the building was carefully designed and to create a modern building that retained the shape of the original warehouse. The ground floor is glazed to give a notion of the building ‘floating’ on the Hobart waterfront from both interior and exterior views.
MAC01 is all about stories; each of its rooms is named for an illustrious or infamous figure from Tasmania’s past – convicts, crooks, captains of industry and other colourful characters.
The MAC01 was a team effort – Circa Morris-Nunn Architects, Stanton Management Group and Vos Construction and Joinery Pty Ltd, who created the magnificent Henry Jones complex, Australia’s first dedicated art hotel built within Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouses,.
Michael Vos, executive chairman of Vos Construction, a multiple winner in the Australian Timber Design Awards, said he was thrilled to be both the developer and builder of the MAC01 development.

Waterfront view of the MAC01 hotel complex at Hobart’s Macquarie wharf featuring Responsible Wood-certified cypress cladding.
Certified cypress from Queensland’s western downs features throughout this building centerpiece of Hobart’s Macquarie wharf re-development.