An unusual and creative use of SUPAWOOD slatted products enhances the ceilings in the entrances to The Quarter, an award-winning entertainment sector at Casuarina Square Shopping Centre in Darwin NT.

The design brief called for timber batten floating features to break up the overhead ceiling voids above the two entries. Because the entry areas are exposed to the local tropical climate, an alternative, sustainable product that could effectively emulate the desired timber look was sought.

SUPASLAT aluminium battens finished with a SUPAMETAL exterior woodgrain finish were the ideal slats for longevity in Darwin’s humid and harsh environment. SUPAWOOD worked closely with all involved to recommend best procedures for the design and construct process.

The panels extend from the exterior entry spaces into the interior of the entertainment sector of the shopping centre. In such high traffic areas, fire retardant products are crucial, so using this timber lookalike aluminium product made perfect sense as it offers an exceptionally high fire rating.

In this project Casuarina External Woodgrain powder coat finished 50 x 25mm aluminium battens at 120mm centres have been fixed to black aluminium cross battens to create 2770 x 2770mm hexagon panels. Half hexagons have also been created. At the builder’s request, the 100 x 25mm aluminium returns were supplied pre-mitred and pre-attached.

By using aluminium battens to construct these panels, the installation was a great deal lighter than what it would have been if timber had been used.

Packed for easy travel and logistics, each hexagon panel was supplied in two pieces with even returns prefixed. This ensured that onsite installation could proceed quickly and smoothly and that the project’s short lead time would be met.

This project has now been acknowledged by winning two NT Architecture Awards in 2017, one for sustainable and the other for commercial architecture.

Photography courtesy of the Casuarina Square centre management.