Locker Group supplied perforated metal panels to create the facade and balustrades for the Dining Hall at the Latrobe University Bendigo campus.

The architectural team at Billard Leece had a vision for a clean and sophisticated metal finish product that would provide opposing textural elements to the building. A key objective was to utilise one finish across a number of different planes to provide a seamless and sharp finish across the project.

Perforated metal was chosen as the ideal substrate to provide shade and allow natural light to flow through the panel.

The angle and shape of the façade that surrounds two faces of the dining hall provided a challenge for both Locker Group and the fabricator. As opposed to a traditional face fixing method, the team developed a system where cleats were used to mount the perforated panels to the supporting RHS structure.

Despite the sharp folds and angles, the finish aimed to appear smooth and clean, so each perforated panel was individually folded to fit cleanly with the supports behind it. Given the geometric nature of the design, hardly any panels incorporated a 90-degree angle. Each façade had to be matched and measured specifically, so the connecting point of folded boarder met seamlessly with the cleats.

Perforated metal panels were also utilised to cover the external walkway enveloping the dining hall. The panels were face fixed at a distance to the right angled sheet structure, providing an industrial feel.

The balustrade provides protection for alfresco dining, enabling students to eat and study while protected from harsh glare. The façade protects internal diners from the heat during summer, but allows a warm winter sun to infuse the space during the cold winter months. Perforated panels installed horizontally around the building provide shading protection for students and staff.

The sleek appearance of the perforated balustrade, façade and external ceiling panels provides a chic industrial appeal to the regional campus.