Armourpanel, a decorative plywood range from Big River Group was specified for the latest Three Blue Ducks venue that opened in Australia’s premier surf park, URBNSURF.

The iconic hospitality chain opened their largest and most operationally complex venue to date with an expansive outdoor poolside dining area and unobstructed views across the sparkling two-hectare surf lagoon. Housed in a new building with an industrial corrugated steel shell, the new 1,600-square-metre restaurant has 400 seats on the ground floor, the mezzanine and alfresco dining areas.

Armourpanel decorative plywood helps frame the building’s industrial aesthetic with a natural colour and warmth.

“The client wanted the space to be a reflection of their brand and in fitting with their existing venues, they were looking for a certain authenticity through warm and tonal materials which we knew Armourpanel could deliver,” says Tom Walker from MIC Projects.

Three Blue Ducks - Armourpanel wall lining

Keeping in mind the designer’s brief to create an authentic space, MIC Projects used Big River Armourpanel in Spotted Gum for the wall linings and joinery. Based on their previous working experience with the leading timber supplier, they were confident Armourpanel could deliver the right warmth and tone to complement the desired aesthetic, as well as durability to suit the high traffic, commercial space.

Armourpanel decorative plywood

The space is layered with natural materials, colours and textures. On the restaurant’s ground floor, Shou Sugi Ban charred timber was used to panel the bar and walls while galvanised steel sheets serve as a backsplash, and the countertops and floors are made from hardwearing polished concrete. On the mezzanine level the richness of Spotted Gum covers every surface giving consistency to the warm tones that accompany the industrial fabric of the fitout.

“The depth of colour and unique timber characteristics of each panel not only gave the desired authenticity to the project, complementing the industrial palette, but provided the security of knowing it was a hardwearing product to stand the test of time,” Walker noted.

Armourpanel is Australia’s strongest decorative plywood, designed, tested and approved to tolerate extremes of heat and humidity and to resist shrinkage. Every panel is made from layers of Australian eucalypt hardwood veneers bonded together to form a strong, solid, stable panel. Its tolerance of changes in ambient temperatures and its toughness make it ideal for hardwearing areas.

Armourpanel plywood

“The range of product thicknesses allows it to be used for floors and walls, as well as furniture and cabinetry, enabling a well curated and crafted palette of natural materials to be employed in the design. We have specified Big River’s timbers on many projects. It is such a beautiful product to work with, we have always been satisfied with their services and timber products, and quality and care of customer support in their sales and technical teams.”

Photography: Traianos Pakioufakis