Durable and stunning – ARAMAX® plays key role in Port of Melbourne development   

A striking new warehousing and office development in Port Melbourne, has showcased the versatility of Fielders ARAMAX®, with the material being applied as both roofing and wall cladding.

A standout of the installation is the manner in which the ARAMAX® roof and walls meet with crisp and clean mitered edges – it’s a saw-tooth inspired design that assisted architects, Spowers, to achieve a bold and contemporary design vision for the landmark development.

According to Spowers senior architect, Michael Brooks, the project owner, Port of Melbourne, gave the firm free reign to exercise creativity of design, so long as certain performance criteria were met.

“Our brief was to design a building that would provide office and warehousing for Bhagwan Marine, who would be leasing the facility from Port of Melbourne,” Michael explained.

“Bhagwan is responsible for maintaining assets in Port Phillip Bay, so as well as the office space, considerable warehousing infrastructure was needed to accommodate equipment and other tools.

“Given the harsh marine environment, other major requirements were that the building have low maintenance qualities without painted finishes. A further consideration was placement of the building within the site, to allow safe and easy access to the water for cranes and other heavy equipment – beyond this, the design and appearance was left to us.”

Michael had seen examples of ARAMAX® used on several other projects and was keen to specify the material for the Port of Melbourne development.

Available in mill finished aluminium, ARAMAX® was ideal for the corrosive seaside environment, while the material’s deep angular profile and striking geometry, provided Spowers with a range of design possibilities to realise its architectural vision.

Michael said that as a structural cladding capable of being applied in spans of up to 20 metres, ARAMAX® also delivered notable cost benefits on the project.

“ARAMAX® helped to cut down on support structure very markedly – we were able to reduce support structure by half to two thirds. In some areas of the building we didn’t even need purlins – less steel means cost savings,” Michael said.

“There was some work involved detailing the mitered edges to achieve the finish we wanted, but Fielders® were extremely helpful during the design stages and offered a lot of direction and support. Our roofing contractor, Zinc Cladding Australia, also went above and beyond with their level of workmanship. The final result looks fantastic.”

On the Port of Melbourne project, ARAMAX® complements the other chosen building materials extremely well, both aesthetically and in the manner in which it meets the development’s broader environmental and low maintenance goals.

The ARAMAX® wall cladding abuts prefabricated concrete jersey barriers at the base of the main warehousing section of the building, providing a hard-wearing surface at high traffic points to avoid accidental damage to the ARAMAX® product from equipment entering and leaving the warehouse.

For office areas, the architects have specified blue-coloured fibre cement sheeting, as well as coloured PERMALITE LT7®, a nod to the project’s marine location while also tying in elements of Port of Melbourne and Bhagwan Marine’s blue corporate colour palettes. Sections of translucent polycarbonate cladding have also been applied to the building to encourage natural light.

The development features rainwater tanks for toilets and for garden water, extensive use of solar panels (which have been mounted at ground level to avoid nesting seagulls) and skylights and high-level louvres to provide natural ventilation and light.

“The long spanning capabilities of ARAMAX® allowed us to create large open spaces which helps to circulate air and promote natural light,” Michael said .

“ARAMAX® also helped fulfil another important requirement of the environmental response recyclability.”

Along with its use on the offices and warehousing, ARAMAX® was specified for the roof of an outdoor staff amenities area, which includes barbecue facilities and seating, a perfect location to enjoy lunch on a warm day while looking over the bay.

Michael said that he would not hesitate to specify Fielders ARAMAX® for future projects.

“Absolutely we would use ARAMAX® again – we’re extremely happy with the benefits it’s given us from a visual standpoint as well as the efficiencies it’s brought to the project in helping us meet our overall brief,” he said.