Art Work Spaces, a coworking hub located in Cairns in far north Queensland, features realistic timber look panels on its facade to immerse gracefully into the surrounding natural environment.

Bringing together like-minded professionals and creatives to work alongside one another, share knowledge and collaborate, the space draws on the existing character of the location to elevate the experience. As an extension of that shared togetherness and an iconic architectural expression of place, Art Work Spaces incorporates the realistic timber look panels from Covet’s Ever Art Wood range in the Mokuzai Weebu Mahogani finish.

Combining textural diversity and an aesthetic likeness, timber look aluminium sheets ensure an endurance beyond the traditional limitations of timber. Extending the lifetime, required maintenance and application options of timber and wood products, the specialised panels offer an increased potential for a myriad of uses.

“A visual delight from a distance, the panels exhibit intriguing details in proximity,” says architect Gordon Beath.

Sitting adjacent to an existing heritage building, it was also imperative that context, scale and proportion were met, and most importantly, a fitting materiality was considered in all elements of the proposal.

Known as a place of immersion within the natural environment, Cairns requires a sensitivity to design that both embraces its remoteness and one that aligns respectfully within the surrounding natural environment.

“The material needed to withstand the tropical conditions, humidity, salt, and to also be robust,” says Art Work Spaces co-owner Paul Kamsler. “As Cairns is highly known for its use of natural materials, it surprises people to discover the (Ever Art Wood) facade isn’t actually timber.”

As a landmark architectural icon of the area, the team cohesively wanted to strike the ideal balance between form, innovation, purpose and contextual sensitivity. “The building’s design displays a joyous collage of material, craft and geometry,” adds Gordon, “where we strove to achieve a holistic artwork design derived from a geometry of two- and three-dimensional forms, combining the practicality of screening sunlight and enhancing the manipulation of light and shadow.”

Awarded the People’s Choice Award, Art Work Spaces is the result of “architecture and art coming together”, says Gordon. He believes that it’s through the bringing together of contemporary buildings with a sensitive interpretation of an area that enduring results are created. As a building that also brings people together, the high-profile site required an equally high level of quality materials.

“Our client wanted a low maintenance, durable facade that had its own presence,” adds Grant Mulkearns, VIS Constructions project manager, “and the Covet Mokuzai sheets provided the ideal aesthetic that they were after.”

Art Work Spaces has firmly cemented its value as a coworking space that encourages people to gather and convene. Recognisable through its appropriate interpretation of the narrative of Cairns, the lasting timber look aesthetic captured externally will remain relevant for many years to come.

“We haven’t seen any change in the material,” adds Paul, “and its lasting performance capabilities ensure the architecture will continue to have such a great presence.”

Product details

Cladding Profile: Ever Art Wood Mokuzai Panels

Colour: Weebu Mahogani

Fire rating: Performs well when tested to AS/NZ 1530.3 (spread of flame / index 0) and AS/NZ 3837-1998 (result / Group 1).

Project credits

Designer: Edge Architecture

Builder: VIS Constructions

Photography: Jannah Dryden