Renowned architect Allan Lamb selected Stramit Longspan steel profile for the wall cladding on his retirement home to help the structure blend into its natural environment.

Situated on a one-acre site of open Manna Gum forest, Airey’s Inlet is an exquisite retirement home designed by Allan Lamb for himself and his artist wife, and envisioned as a metal box sitting on a masonry base. Located in a dense forestry area, Lamb wanted to create a modern two storey dwelling that would be sympathetic to its natural surroundings. Stramit Longspan in Colorbond Monument was used for the wall cladding, allowing the structure to blend seamlessly into its environment. The 380 square metres of steel are also bush fire compliant in a high-risk area.

Allan Lamb explained that Stramit Longspan in Colorbond Monument provided an economical and aesthetically desirable appearance, which had a strong vertical expression and suited the initial vision. By incorporating Stramit steel products further into the design, Lamb was able to create a stunning dwelling that could merge well into its natural surroundings and also offer energy efficiency.

Measuring 40m x 6m wide, the building is angled on the site to face due north allowing maximum solar penetration and providing good cross ventilation in alignment with passive design principles. The long and narrow design was required to work with the environment and to minimise disturbance to the site and natural vegetation, with minimal tree removal.

Design highlights of Lamb’s Airey’s Inlet include a skillion roof, which slopes gently at 3 degrees from the east end up towards the higher living spaces and s-w deck. The 28-metre long skillion roof was divided into three sections using Stramit Speed Deck Ultra decking and Stramit FarLap roof lap joint system. Stramit’s unique FarLap roof lap joint system allows for the management of long roof runs, especially when site access is an issue, and enables easy handling of the sheets by making them smaller in length. The system ensured that a low profile step was used at the roof joints without needing to change purlin heights.

Designed for casual living, the residence provides self-contained accommodation for guests and family on the lower level while the owners’ living spaces are on the upper floor with ground level access. A full-length 1.2m wide passage on the south upper floor serves both as a circulation zone and a linear art gallery for display of the owners’ art collection. A casual kitchen and dining space opens onto a deck with full width sliding doors. The deck has been conceived as an external room, and has been partly roofed using Stramit Speed Deck Ultra in Colorbond Shale Grey, providing an economical roof decking with limited reflection, as required by council rules.

Stramit additionally provided Longspan perforated sheeting for the northern horizontal sunshade. Custom cappings and flashings in matching Colorbond were developed to ensure the desired crisp edges to the building were maintained.

The use of Stramit products throughout the building process helped Lamb address the various challenges of the retirement home’s location.