ARTerial, a new contemporary art gallery in Parkside, Adelaide, runs exhibitions every six to eight weeks. Not only is the work of local, interstate and international artists on show in this dynamic space, but the Hyspan Structural LVL by futurebuild that helped architect Angelo Ali create the space, is also a feature of the gallery’s design.

Ali’s projects are mostly residential renovations and new developments, however, he purchased the buildings in Parkside with the idea of developing an office space for himself combined with an art gallery space for his wife. The site was ideal — it had visible frontage on a main road and there were two old villas on the block. Built in 1910 and typical of Adelaide architecture, the stone villas had been in commercial use for several years.

When the project ran into difficulty with planning restrictions due to limitations on the car parking available, the original footprint of the structure had to be retained and any extension had to be upward rather than outward. Says Ali: “We wanted to do something different, using the two old villas, joined with a new structure…the villas were skewed on the block and there were difficult angles to join together, so we installed a single storey structure at the front with a roof that sweeps up to form a room at the back — the roof sweeps up to form a mezzanine at the rear of the property.

It is this central contemporary linking space that houses the office space and part of the gallery, with a studio on the mezzanine above the office. Ali wanted a design that was contemporary but still sympathetic to the old stone villas and would be suited to all the various purposes of the space.

Hyspan’s availability in long lengths up to 12m helped with the cantilevering of the mezzanine. As the mezzanine is visible from the centre office space and is the first thing you see when you walk through the front door, Ali wanted long sections of timber that were true and straight, without warping or twisting. It had to be visually appealing as well as structurally sound. The stiffness of the Hyspan joists allowed for a generous cantilever (240 x 45 mm) for architectural effect and also allowed for a balustrade to be attached to the end member. Plywood flooring was then glued and screwed to the hyspan floor joists which helped to reduce the potential for squeaking and bouncing of the mid-floor. The plywood was then finished with a clear polyurethane coating.

This was important for the ARTerial gallery and Ali offices, as the office is directly underneath the floor of the painting studio. “I didn’t want to be distracted when the artists are moving around. The Hyspan was also efficient in span compared to traditional timbers,” adds Ali, “I use the product all the time on residential projects. For example, where there is flooring above a garage, Hyspan saves having to use intermediate supports.”

Hyspan off-cuts were then used to great effect as the exposed treads of the staircase. The Hyspan off-cuts were clear coated and Ali even left the Hyspan imprint on the timber, producing a funky and inexpensive look that was easy to construct using steel stringers and cleats attached to the treads.