Best in show: Intergrain

The brief for Equestrian Centre Merricks called for a highly functional venue to accommodate the breeding of horses. The site’s undulating landscape posed a challenge to Melbourne-based Watson Architecture + Design and London-based Seth Stein Architects, especially considering the project needs to accommodate a 3,000-square-metre manège (the rectangular arena for horse training and dressage). However, the resulting crescent plan is sympathetic to the environment through its bold architectural form, providing spaces that include horse stalls, a feed room, wash bay, groom’s accommodation and small office.

T he scheme is particularly dynamic for its restrained yet robust material palette, which withstands the harsh weather conditions often experienced on the site. Apart from the zinc roof and curved rammed-earth wall that partly forms the back facade, the entire building is constructed from timber. A selection of Intergrain timber finishes were chosen for their fit-for-purpose profile and durability in exposed environments.

O ver 1,200 square metres of plywood roof soffit lining was pre-treated with Intergrain Dimension 4 primer to inhibit mould and water staining and then coated in Intergrain DWD. The latter product was also used to finish the entire timber laminated hardwood structure and the spotted gum cladding, which measures over ten kilometres in length.

O n-site obstacles were avoided by applying Intergrain DWD to the spotted gum in a controlled factory environment, which not only ensures a uniform, high-end finish, but also makes the construction process faster and more efficient. These advantages are beneficial in a project like Equestrian Centre Merricks, in which the expanse of timber is significant and any inconsistencies in finish would be immediately visible.

This content is presented by Intergrain. For more information visit Equestrian Centre Merricks by Watson Architecture + Design in association with Seth Stein Architects was the 2016 Intergrain Timber Vision Awards Commercial Exterior winner.

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