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Sydney Water

Sydney Water, Potts Hill, Office Building Atrium Sydney Water, Potts Hill, Office Building Atrium Tyrone Branigan

Bates Smart

NSW & ACT Entries 2010

Winner of The Timber Panels Award, 2010

The new Sydney Water facility at Potts Hill stands adjacent to a reservoir and a well preserved,heavily treed reserve. Our approach was to adopt the use of raw, natural and robust materials in response to the buildings context and the large number of field staff who occupy the space.

The timber selected as a cladding material for the external facades and decking material of the office building needed to be robust enough in appearance to combine with glass, aluminium framing, and structural steel and to weather naturally against the landscape. A blend of Australian White Mahogany (FSC Pure) and Sugar Gum (mixed credit)with a natural lanolin coating provided the perfect combination.

The same blend of Australian White Mahogany (FSC Pure) and Sugar Gum (mixed credit) is used on the external decking, the 135x21.5mm planks have pencil round edges to each plank and 3mm gaps between for drainage. The screw fixings align with the fixings of the wall cladding. Inside, the atrium floor planks in White Mahogany align with the deck, where rubber strips between planks and timber plugs over the screws provide a higher level of finish for easy cleaning while the oiled finish retains a natural look. This is contrasted with polished concrete walkways and the carpeted quiet office areas.

The Service Cores are lined with Blackbutt Floorboards, prefinished Big River Armourcote engineered boards were chosen for ease of installation and maintenance. These boards are angled at 20°, and appear to twist up through the building when viewed from across the atrium.Core Doors were lined in the same timber but at right angles to the wall cladding, providing the required visual contrast.

Hoop pine plywood for the joinery and balustrades to continues the raw look and provides the quality of finish required in a commercial interior. The routed faces, perforations and exposed edges all highlight the nature of the material, which is further enhanced by the contrast with dark laminates and glossy white polyurethane.

The project has a five star GBCA green star rating and is a showcase for the use of FSC timber from Australia. At the present time it is the largest project of its kind using timber selected from certified renewable forestry sources in this country.
Entered into:
  • Best Use Of Australian Certified Timber, 2010
  • Best Use Of Timber Panels, 2010
  • Best Use Of Timber Flooring, 2010
  • Best Use Of Solid Timber Cladding, 2010
  • Interior Fitout – Commercial (e.g. offices, shops, building foyers, etc), 2010
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