In the heart of Melbourne's Olympic Park precinct, overlooking the training ground of the Collingwood Football Club, new venue The Glasshouse is a statement in sophisticated design.

The Collingwood Football Club venue is an event space with a cocktail function capacity of 1000, seated dinner capacity of 500, auditorium capacity of 150, and a private boardroom. The formal spaces are complimented by a relaxed eatery, barbecue deck and outdoor seating area.

The building is so successful, that it has been recognised with the top building and construction award in the industry – the Master Builders award.

ADCO Constructions, who were responsible for the overall project, were announced as the Victorian winner of the Master Builders Award for Excellence in Construction of Commercial Buildings $20-$30 million, last month. Having risen to the top of around 100 other submissions, ADCO are now finalists for the national title.

Chris Duff, Contracts Administrator at ADCO, said everyone was very pleased with the result on The Glasshouse.

The project was constructed from a variety of different natural materials including zinc, aluminium, steel, concrete and timber.

"The timber was a big facet in this project," said Duff.

World-renowned interior design firm Hecker Guthrie Studio were responsible for The Glasshouse’s impressive interiors.

“The space supports celebrations and events of a high standard, so the fit-out needed to reflect that,” said interior designer, Josh Watt.

One of the signature features of the internal spaces is the beautiful vertical wall panelling in profiled American Oak. The timber panels were custom designed by Hecker Guthrie with a scalloped shape.

“They’re a contemporary expression of a traditional timber wall lining,” said Watt.

Hecker Guthrie said they specified timber because it is a high quality finish that elevates the offer of the space, by adding luxury and sophistication.

"Timber is a familiar material for people, it gives the space a feeling of warmth and comfort. There is also an honesty and authenticity about timber that brings naturalness to interior spaces."

Hecker Guthrie use timber in every interior design space.

“Our fit-outs have a limited and refined palate. And, people have come to expect a certain design quality from us. Timber delivers this quality. It has a timelessness about its look, and hardiness in its properties.

“We don’t design interiors that need to be torn down in 7 years. We design spaces that will stand the test of time, both stylistically and in its longevity.”

Hecker Guthrie Studio almost exclusively use American or European Oak.

“It has the best grain and tone. In fact, it is one of the world’s most beautiful timbers.”

Adding value through experience and creative thinking.

Britton Timbers were engaged to supply the timber for the wall panels by sub-contractor Mount View Constructions.

The enquiry came to Britton Timbers from Grant Anderson, Director at Mount View Constructions, because Britton’s were able to fabricate the custom designed batons on a large scale.

“The original design was for solid lengths of profiled timber. We looked at the design of the wall panelling and identified that the design would result in a lot of timber wastage,” said Nicholas Fitrolakis, Account Manager at Britton Timbers.

Due to large sections of panelling, Mount view Constructions decided to construct the panels on site, instead of prefabricating off site. This met the design criteria and time restraints of the project and allowed long lengths of timber to be used to eliminate panel joints.

Britton’s, in consultation with Mount View Constructions, explored some options and came up with two solutions that would deliver the design aesthetic, but in a more efficient way.

"We created a laminated finger jointed product with a solid timber face, made to the precise length required. The result was a product that looked exactly as the design required, while removing the possibility of movement, which on occasion can happen in solid timber. This resulted in a more consistent product removing the issue of bowing over the long lengths used on the larger panels."

Nicholas presented the alternative product to Mount View Constructions, who in turn presented the sample to ADCO. It was selected.

The Joinery

Hecker Guthrie also specified American Oak for the interior joinery.

Nuveau Kitchens, who have been creating high end joinery in commercial projects and luxury homes for 34 years, sourced the timber from Britton Timbers.

“We knew that ‘Brittons’ were the largest supplier of American Oak in Australia. We also knew that ‘Brittons’ were supplying the timber for the wall linings. We wanted the joinery to match the colour and quality of the wall linings so that the overall aesthetic of the space was consistent,” said Leo Malvaso, Owner and Director of Nuveau Kitchens.

It was the first time that Nuveau Kitchens had sourced their timber from Britton Timbers, but after the experience on The Glasshouse, they have since sourced all their American Oak from ‘Brittons’.

"Nicholas Fitrolakis from 'Brittons' was incredibly helpful. We sat down with him at the start of the job, explained what the timber was being used for, and set guidelines around quality. We needed select grade to match the interior designers exacting standards.

The level of detail required was very, very high and everything had to be right on the money, according to Malvaso.

“The timber we received was exactly what we were promised on spec. It performed really well and there was no waste. It’s hard to get timber spot on – but ‘Brittons’ delivered it.

"The service was also brilliant. 'Brittons' were easy to get along with and always tried to be as helpful as they could. If we needed advice or had a question, Nick was always straight onto it."

Nuveau Kitchens also created the furniture in the outdoor spaces from Blackbutt, supplied by Britton Timbers.

“Blackbutt is ideal for outdoor furniture because it remains stable under the weather and it is a good price point. The product supplied by ‘Brittons’ was really clean. It was free from knots and really good to work with.”

Overall, Nuveau Kitchens were thrilled with the result on The Glasshouse.

“It is exceptional. Anyone that walks into the place will be amazed by the joinery. We put joinery worth half a million dollars into the project and we didn’t have anything that wasn’t spot on.

“Our guys got a lot of satisfaction from the job. When you build things, if you do something that’s really nice, you appreciate what you do. You can look back and think, I’m one of few people who could have built that – there is a lot of satisfaction that comes from that.”

ADCO Constructions said that it is a challenge to coordinate construction of a project with many different contractors.

"All the timbers had to match closely. It's great to have a supplier like Britton Timbers who have the scope to supply scale."