Winner of The Timber as a Structural Element Award, 2010
Winner of The Recycled Timber Award, 2010
The spa sanctuary is a journey through 3 individual wings that come together to form the entire spa compound comprising of some 1500sqm and over 7 levels cascading & contoured to the landscape within which it is nestled.
Material selection played an important role in creating the truly majestic, powerful & inspiring architectural delight that stands today. Varying forms and species of timber are utilised in a myriad of applications portraying the material's versatility.
A large portion of the pallet employed for the structure and detail of the design, comprised of Australian reclaimed hardwood timbers that originated from local wharfs, bridges, and old buildings. Not only would this resource add richness, beauty, warmth and power to the project but further it would allow this project to be an example of innovative sustainable design which is lacking in so many resorts and spas throughout the world.
Upon approach to the building one is welcomed by the grandeur befitting that of an entry statement created by converting Ironbark salvaged and re-milled from bridge girders in Western QLD to construct a series of what can only be termed as colossal exposed trusses that fan and protrude through the building facade. This same timber forms a magical entry portal that acts a rain wall.
Spotted Gum decking timber steps laid over water lead you through to the main building where one is embraced by the warmth of timber that is all encompassing, and transitioning from the floor to the walls and then to the soaring ceilings above.
The timber floor smoothly transitions to the timber deck & bridge structure which leads the user to the two mirror reversed wing buildings that comprise of the treatment rooms.
The elevated timber frame construction of the treatment wings was inspired by the classic Queenslander. Treated Pine used as a curved skeletal system clad with an innovative skin of spotted Gum boards slotted into recycled vertical rebated posts. The forest like Subfloor structure of these buildings is unique with the employment of reused telegraph poles.
Further, various timber species are evident in details such as the stained Marine Ply soffits & fascias, in the carefully joinered doors & windows and the random patterning of the timber screening.
The resulting product is a beautifully crafted structure combining the old with the new and in so doing delivered an extremely economical constructed building that will be around for another 100 or more years as this is the nature of planning and designing using Australian hardwoods.
The Spa Sanctuary at Gwinganna is a marvellous example of how timber can be adopted in various applications from structure to decorative details.