When we first experienced the vacant site for the project we were quickly drawn by the beautiful 150 year old fig tree that seemed to command its natural surroundings.
It's canopy, which stretched 20 meters horizontally and vertically, seemed to hover over the ground with some branches gently touching the earth.
During this initial visit we realised that this tree should become the primary element in the project's design program.
Not only did we decide to arrange the project's internal and external spaces around the tree but we felt that in order to complement it's natural beauty we needed to use timber materials and products throughout where possible.
Externally timber is used in structural elements of the many decks in particular those that surround the tree. Timber meeting timber. Timber decking boards, timber batten benches, timber balustrade and timber screens fitted together to form a solid platform on which people may sit and experience the tree's natural formation from its root system up into its branches and leaves.
Away from the tree and into the beergarden, timber has been used beneath the raking steel framed canopy that protects patrons from the sun and rain. Timber battens have been fitted beneath the polycarbonate roof sheeting to filter the sunlight which is suggestive of the way that the branches and leaves of a tree work. The steel columns that support the beergarden roof have been designed so that timber is fitted vertically on its 4 corners to conceal the structure and soften the cold and reflective nature of steel.
Stainless steel wire has been threaded thorough vertical timber to form a trellis's for the growing of vines.
Internally timber has been used on floors, ceilings, screens and cladding for columns. Here it sits comfortably with other complementing natural materials such as stone, concrete and copper. It has also been used for bench tops to bars and in various joinery elements.
Timber is a wonderful material for its inherent natural beauty and also for its ability to be worked with on site by tradesmen with little or no offsite handling.
Overtime, while some elements in the project may date or wear badly such as fabrics, wallpapers or carpets, timber we believe with regular maintenance will retain its natural beauty.