A temple designed for Melbourne’s Vietnamese community by Lines, MacFarlane and Marshall Architects is a square shaped pagoda style building with distinctive swept up eaves. As the eaves and the roof structure needed to be curved, Marshall used Hyspan LVL from futurebuild , supplied and prefabricated by Glamex.

The Hyspan beams were shaped into a gentle curve at prefabrication stage so that once they were brought on-site they were ready to go. This made construction easier and brought the project within the community’s tight budget. Marshall explains that he investigated using steel as several straight sections can be used to make a similar curve, however this method requires more labour and is an expensive option. “With LVL,” says Marshall, “you can do it as an integrated part of the structure.” The lightweight beams and the simplicity of application of the prefabricated curve made Hyspan the more attractive option.

The building’s upstairs is the temple space, but there is a large undercroft, hafl above and half below ground, which will eventually be enclosed and used for meetings and functions. Many communities are forced to hold public meetings in the temple space out of necessity, not having the funds to build a separate space. In order to keep the sacred space separate from the everyday business, the undercroft was designed, an unusual feature for such a temple, with steps leading down into it that double as seating, like a kind of grandstand, and to be used for meetings.

Source: Building Products News.