Open to inspection

A translucent canopy across the entire street frontage of this joinery manufacturing plant gives the impression of a slick, sophisticated company

The new premises of joinery manufacturer Camn 4 architecture, building, commercial building, corporate headquarters, elevation, facade, home, house, property, real estate, window, blue
The new premises of joinery manufacturer Camn 4 were designed by JWA Architects to present the company as a successful, go-ahead business that prides itself on the quality of its products.

Factory facades frequently give little or no indication of what is going on behind the doors. Is the company running a successful operation utilising the latest technology, or is it still using traditional skills?

When asked to design new premises for Camm 4, a thriving joinery company manufacturing commercial and retail fit-outs for the local and export markets, architect Jonathan Walker sought to create a clear identity.

"The company had recently expanded and needed larger premises to accommodate the sophisticated technology used by its CAD designers. The owners wanted the new premises to have a powerful, contemporary design that presented their business in a singular, strong way, rather than a building that looked like any other factory," says Walker.

"Our approach was to design a building that conveys this message, and reflects the quality, precision and elegance of its joinery."

The new building incorporates 2750m² of factory floor space behind 485m² of office and showroom space. Together, the office area, in a transparent glass box occupying three-fifths of the front facade of the building, and the translucent canopy covering the parking area, wrap across the entire street frontage of the building,

T keep the offices light and airy, the ceiling, glass, interior design, office, gray
T keep the offices light and airy, the corridor forming the central spire of the upper level is glazed.

To optimise his design, Walker took advantage of the massive size of the building, its wide street frontage, and the orientation of the site.

"Usually, you see the peak of the factory roof from the street. In contrast, with this project we treated the front of a facade, had some fun with the design, and concealed the roof line behind the canopy," he says.

As well as making a statement for the company, the canopy unites the whole facade in one composition and provides shelter for the carpark.

Because the south-facing site eliminates heat build-up, Walker was able to incorporate clear glass to make the building completely transparent, allowing natural light to flood into the offices and showroom.

To create a look indicative of the quality of the business, the structure utilises high-specification products such as flush-glazed window joinery with opening sashes in black silicone frames.

Stainless steel mesh is lit by a fluoresent architecture, ceiling, daylighting, glass, handrail, interior design, leisure centre, line, stairs, structure, gray, blue
Stainless steel mesh is lit by a fluoresent blue light shinning from a bulkhead on the side of the stairs

Careful detailing, such as in the beams over the canopies above the roller doors of the loading bay, is another feature of the design. The beams are angled upward so they seem to disappear into the canopy, retaining the slick lines of the building.

The design also creates a strong sense of space.From the front double-height open canopy over the carpark, the building gradually scales down into the smaller, but still double-height showroom, before proceeding into the single-level offices. With numerous glazed interior and exterior walls, the internal spaces seem larger and, from the meeting room on the upper level, there is an unobstructed view into the showroom and through to the double-height outdoor entry area and landscaping.

Glass balustrades on the internal staircase and clear glass walls lining the central corridor through the offices block sound, but not light or the open feeling.

A stainless steel mesh wall lines one side of the stairs, connecting the two levels in the offices. The mesh picks up and scatters the light from a fluorescent blue light that shines onto it from a bulkhead on the side of the staircase.

"This feature draws clients' attention to the stairs that lead to the meeting room on the upper level, and helps to develop the idea that the whole building is crafted with care, using high-quality products," says Walker.

Credit list

Jonathan Walker, JWA Architects
Gulf Projects
Long-run Zincalume from Metalcraft
Door furniture
Dalco from Wilson & McIndoe
Thorn; Impressions
Natural Habitats
Poynter Electrical
Structural engineer
Pacific Consultants
Luxalon Multipanel from Architectural Systems; long-run pre-finished metal cladding from Metalcraft
Window joinery
Oakley flush glazing from Framerite Installations
Central Air Conditioning
Steel mesh
Mounts Wire Industries installed by Matrix Masts
Cantilevered glass balustrades
Glass Relate

Story by: Trendsideas

18 Dec, 2007