Ever Art Wood timber look aluminium battens from Covet International helped the award-winning Australian architecture firm, March Studio achieve a distinctive curved design feature at a new restaurant in Chadstone.

Stretching across the walls and ceilings of Calia Collective’s Japanese-inspired restaurant-to-retail concept in the Chadstone Fashion District is a unique curved design feature envisioned by the architects. Though the idea was conceived with real timber dowels, the curved design would not have been possible since real timber was difficult to bend, making the material choice impractical.

Thanks to its versatility, architectural features and premium timber looks, Covet’s Ever Art Wood made the designer’s vision possible.

Curves are often used in architecture to soften a building’s aesthetic; however, achieving curves can turn out to be time-consuming, wasteful and costly if the right material is not used. Materials such as wood demand a high level of craftsmanship to achieve consistent, accurate curves, especially if a tight radius is required. Additionally, different species of wood respond differently to bending forces with some varieties even requiring pre-softening. When working with timber on a curved design, one also has to factor in the thickness, grain and preparation of the wood to avoid selecting stock that is unsuitable for the intended application.

Ever Art Wood, on the other hand, provided a cost-effective and practical alternative to wood, with the round hollow section aluminium battens easily bendable to a tight radius to achieve the unique curved design envisaged for Calia’s Chadstone space. The battens’ realistic woodgrain pattern and textures also allowed the designer to successfully deliver the desired real timber aesthetic.

Approximately 4000 metres of 30mm diameter Ever Art Wood Koshi aluminium battens were installed to create the centrepiece feature at Calia’s Chadstone project. Made out of lightweight, dimensionally accurate and fire-rated aluminium, the Koshi batten is a standard hollow section that replicates a plain timber batten with no special fixtures or fittings. To create the curved design at the restaurant, sections of Koshi battens were first bent to a radius of 1200mm, and mounted on curved supports. The battens were then cut to size and installed to create curves using the staggered lengths.

Low maintenance is one of the primary advantages of using Covet’s timber look aluminium battens instead of real timber since no oiling or surface treatment is required after installation. Aluminium battens are also easier to manipulate than real timber to create dimensionally accurate and consistent curves, which was critical to delivering the seamless finish required for the installation.

Covet director Anthony Scott explained that their Koshi battens were proposed by the shopfitter to replace the originally specified timber dowels.

“It is rare for an installer to advocate for a more expensive product; however, the advantages of using Ever Art Wood were clear. Our product was easier to bend and would deliver the consistent, clean lines that the designer wanted without warping, while presenting a realistic timber look finish.

“The battens were screw-fixed with screws directly through the batten faces which, in my opinion, makes it look even more ‘real’ as that is how you would install timber dowel. This was made into a feature detail by using counter sunk black screws.”

Careful consideration of feature details added to the overall realism of the final design, helping maintain the visual appeal as well as the authentic timber look and feel.

To ensure the realism of the timber look was not diluted, Covet developed a round, custom vacuum-sealed batten end cap solution that was visually consistent with the centrepiece feature. Individual end caps were finished with the same Supuringu Oku colour and texture as the battens and hand-trimmed and inspected in their Japanese manufacturer’s factory.

Covet’s comprehensive and flexible customer service was able to accommodate the project’s challenging lead times and unique specifications. Scott continues: “The project’s lead time was short, and we worked in providing a couple of shipments – one by air freight, one by sea – so the project could keep to schedule. We also used part of the air freight delivery to co-ordinate bending of the battens to meet the timeframe. This highlights the customer-focused, solution-driven service that we provide.”

Ever Art Wood fire rated aluminium battens

Recommended for an almost limitless range of decorative and cladding applications, Ever Art Wood fire rated aluminium battens offer a durable and high performance solution that can endure outdoor elements including high humidity and marine environments, while maintaining the specified aesthetic.

The natural timber look of the battens comes from the textured photorealistic surface, which is inspired by real timber species. The aluminium battens combine the look and feel of real timber with dimensional accuracy and low maintenance to give customers a complete, long-term solution. The Ever Art Wood batten’s matte finish provides superior realism when compared to powdercoated timber look alternatives.

Ever Art Wood is also available in a range of profiles and fixing systems as well as in panel formats.

Ever Art Wood has been independently tested to meet the stringent fire safety and performance requirements set out in the 2019 update of the National Construction Code (NCC), including the relevant Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions, C1.10 and C1.9(e)(v). Designers and specifiers should note that the actual content of C1.10 and C1.9(e)(v) in the NCC 2019 mirrors the equivalent clauses in previous versions of the NCC. Ever Art Wood solutions are fire rated, achieving the following fire test results:

Fire Tested AS/NZ 3837-1998: Group 1; and

Fire Tested AS/NZ 1530.3: Index 0 (spread of flame).

Ever Art Wood has also been UV tested under SAE J1960-2004. After 9648 hours of exposure in an Atlas Ci4000 Xenon Weather-Ometer chamber – the equivalent of 10-12 years outdoors – Ever Art Wood only displayed slight changes in appearance with no fading on the printed image.

Covet offers a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty against surface delamination, warping and significant fading.