At Curvwood, we’re committed to craftsmanship, creativity and first-class timber solutions. We have the skills and knowledge to deliver meticulously finished glue laminated beams (glulam) for diverse aesthetic and structural builds.
We recently completed a playground project for Eastern Creek Quarter (ECQ), a new shopping, dining and entertainment complex in Western Sydney, managed by Frasers Property Group. Commissioned by Tilt, a multi-disciplinary team of industrial designers with a focus on bespoke built environment projects, we produced two stunning playground pods… structurally sound to handle even the rowdiest playground visitors!
And as Kieran Barker, Senior Industrial Designer with Tilt explains, it was a positive experience for all parties. “Everyone was very happy, which doesn’t always happen. It was a great result in terms of quality, time frame and collaboration with the Curvwood team.”
Making the connection
Arcadia Landscape Architecture appointed Tilt to provide the structures for the ECQ playground. Tilt has expertise across mechanical and mechatronic engineering, construction and design – and they had the vision for the beautiful, curved playpods.
What they needed was a company capable of bespoke high quality curved glulam fabrication.
Kieran initially approached Big River Group, a family owned timber business and major Australian building materials distributor. A Big River contact immediately thought of Ron Gattone, Curvwood Co-Director and Advisor on our timber projects. Ron is a highly respected builder, timber merchant and joiner, with more than 50 years’ experience.
“We started looking for a curved wood fabricator in March last year,” explains Kieran. “The curved timber beams are the integral feature, so we knew we needed someone who could do that really well. We did try a couple of larger companies, but this project wasn’t really a fit. I began coordinating with Ron and then with Truett (Curvwood Co-Director).”
The journey to glue laminated beams
“There were a few small changes,” Truett explains. “They did initially want hardwood, but there were a few problems in terms of weight and a longer cutting and machining time frame. We recommended Accoya, which is incredibly versatile, durable, sustainable and non-carcinogenic, so ideal for a playground.”
Kieran adds: “There was a bit of back and forth before our final design. I discussed what we needed, we talked about limitations, and from there, we were able to refine the design and present the concepts back to Arcadia.”
Fast and precise glulam fabrication
With the final design in place, Truett developed a fabrication plan for the precise glulam beam sizes… and began work.
“We supplied the curved glulam beams which would connect to a powder coated metal structural core. We delivered the beams in kit form to the site, for an easy installation.”
From design sign-off to delivery, the project took just 12 weeks.
“There were a lot of components in the final design which needed to be absolutely precise to slot together seamlessly,” says Truett. “If I promise to do something, I will always deliver, so we pushed very hard to get it done.”
A successful collaboration
For Kieran, one of the best aspects of the project was the fruitful collaboration. “I was able to drop by the Curvwood workshop and talk quite a bit to Ron and Truett, and that direct client interaction is something you don’t always get with larger companies.
Ron and Truett were very helpful and we were able to brainstorm and bounce ideas around. They worked hard to provide suggestions that might optimise the project.
If we hadn’t talked to Big River, we might never have found Curvwood, so I’m very glad we did. It’s important to find good, local manufacturers, and we will absolutely work with Curvwood again on any new suitable projects.”
A beautiful curved wood creation
The structure we created for Tilt sits within a stunning wooden playground, surrounded by greenery. It’s an inviting timber escape from the bustling shopping centre that opened in June this year.
It’s just one example of an innovative glued laminated structure that we truly believe will transform the Australian landscape. Glulam is a sustainable and amazingly flexible option for architectural projects, art installations and urban landscaping.