SUPAWOOD SUPASLAT bespoke slatted Cambria Ash timber wall and ceiling panels fill the interior of the new RAE Memorial Chapel at Holsworthy Barracks with the transcendent warmth that only wood can provoke.

The new non-denominational chapel is a valued element included in the relocation of the Moorebank Units to Holsworthy Barracks and replaces a historic chapel at Moorebank. It was therefore imperative for the designers, BVN, to consider the legacy of the Engineer Corps by reflecting materials and incorporating memorials from their heritage into the new architecture… the resilience of stone and the richness of wood.

The Cambria Ash timber slats for the interior panelling are a sustainable modified timber product, which has enabled the designers to achieve a low maintenance and long-lasting aesthetic finish while also displaying remarkable atmosphere.

The Cambria Ash timber slats were treated with a thermal modification process using high heat to improve the timber’s dimensional stability so the slats used in these panels will be less prone to warp or twist. This process reduces the ability for the wood to absorb moisture, increasing decay resistance and extending the service life of applied finishes, therefore reducing maintenance costs. One hundred percent FSC certified, this non-toxic timber product provides a consistent and uniform rich brown coloration.

The building consists of two main spaces, the chapel and a multi-purpose room. In both areas the SUPASLAT timber panels cover the entire ceilings and most of the walls. In total 514m² of panels were installed. The slats have been cut in a trapezoid section and mounted using black backing strips. Lighting and other amenities have been integrated between the slats in the ceilings.

The use of SUPASLAT slatted panels rather than loose slats provided the flexibility the designers required to incorporate hidden access points throughout the building without interrupting the continuity of the slatted lining effect. As well as hidden doors to utilities such as the main switchboard, the multi-purpose room has a kitchen concealed behind slatted panelled sliding doors. Other screens to close off selected areas are hidden away in concealed storage areas.

Choosing a SUPAWOOD product reassured the builder, Laing O’Rourke, that the required production capacity and tight lead times could be met. With so much panelling and the complexity of the integration of services, SUPAWOOD provided full project management support including on-site assistance to the contractor. Attention to detail was further reinforced by the supply of full shop drawings.

The beauty of the Cambria Ash timber and versatility of the SUPASLAT panels in this project unite two unique products into one to enrich an interior, which is destined to become a spiritual focal point for the new community at Holsworthy Barracks.

Photography © JadaArt