Balaclava Railway Station, in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs is one
of Melbourne’s oldest dating back to 1859. Since that time it has seen a few
upgrades leading up to the current refurbishment that was approved in June 2012.
This major $13.3 million upgrade to the station and its facilities included
major improvements to the aesthetic of the station where Futurewood’s EnviroSlat
Cladding (60mm x 40mm) in Walnut with a coarse sanded finish was the product of
Architect Ken Ng was in charge of bringing the original design concept
for the railway station to life. One of the first things he had to change was
the timber, which was originally specified in the design concept. Timber was
specified to create a sense of warmth and softness for this railway station as
railway stations are often constructed purely of colder materials such as
concrete and steel. Ken wanted to maintain and preserve the soft warm feeling
the timber provided so he replaced it with Futurewood EnviroSlat, a product,
which looks and feels like timber but requires a lot less upfront and ongoing
Futurewood’s EnviroSlat Cladding was perfect for this project because it
doesn’t split or splinter, which makes it safer than timber and it doesn’t warp
or twist like timber can, which means it will remain looking fantastic for many
years to come. Unlike tradition timber it will not need to be sanded and
painted/ oiled every ~12 months, which will provide a significant cost saving
to the station’s owners.
Another important criterion for Ken Ng and his team of designers from
CCG Architects was to construct the Railway Station from a material from which
graffiti could be easily removed. The design team conducted several graffiti
removal tests and found that graffiti was very easy to remove from Futurewood’s
EnviroSlat product simply by using an off-the-shelf graffiti removal product available
from most hardware stores.
Ken Ng also noted that Futurewood agreed to stock spare boards for them
should they need any replacements in the future; yet another example of the
Futurewood team going that extra mile to ensure the client was satisfied.
Balaclava Railway station was re-opened to the public in Oct 2014. It
forms part of the Sandringham line, which services ~160,000 Melbournians every