Known as ‘forty two’ a block of townhouse-style units built at Merewether Beach in Newcastle, NSW, has been designed along clean, strong lines by Chris Tucker of Herd Architects. In an unusual aspect, a motor vehicle turntable which meets Council requirements that garage doors not be visible from the street - the turntable is at the back of the townhouses.

The building itself utilises innovative engineered building products such as Hyspan structural LVL and Hybeam engineered J-Joists from futurebuild. The wall frames are prefabricated usiing Laserframe and the upper floors are clad with Texture 20000 by woodlogic. The roofs are skillion style but have two different angled sections creating interest. The ceiling is attached to the underside of the rafters, providing extra ceiling height below.

Hyspan made this elevated roof effect possible. Its long lengths of up to 13.2m off the shelf were not available in conventional timbers. The large spans achieved with Hyspan reduced the need for intermittment supports, eliminating the need for bulkheads which would have affected the clean ceiling line. Internally, the wall to ceiling junction had a perfectly clean line, all square set with no cornices. Hypsan helped achieve the minimalist urban style inside.

Hybeam, used a floor joists, continued the perfectly flat and straight lines with services run through the joists. Using minimal depth Hyspan and Hybeam, head height did not have to be sacrificed in the ceiling levels.

The exterior Texture 2000 cladding was also turned into a feature. Instead of the typical horizontal but joint between the cladding, the join between the sheets was highlighted with a gap or recess all around the job.

Source: Building Products News.