Cemintel delivers high-value finish for Swan Valley work-life project

On a rocky cliff overlooking Western Australia’s Swan Valley wine region, sits the office of wealth management consultancy, Bennett Wealth Group.

Kangaroos and horses roam the property, while birds gather on a handrail of the building’s striking deck, which juts out from a wall of granite.

It’s a far cry from the concrete jungle of Perth’s inner city, where exorbitant rents and a long commute led Mike Bennett, Director of Bennett Wealth Group, to consider a more sustainable and enjoyable place to do business.

He decided to develop a purpose-built office just 100 metres from his home in Red Hill.

“A big complication in the build was the fact that it’s on the edge of a cliff. One corner of it sits on a rocky outcrop and the other end is about 12 metres off the ground. It sits out on a platform,” explains Mike.

“We wanted it to have a sustainable style because that’s our business philosophy. It needed to be a quality, low maintenance building, which blended with the property – semi-rural, large rocks – and capitalised on the spectacular views of Swan Valley and the city.”

He says a quality architectural finish was critical in order to impress his clients and create a great experience.

Cemintel was first suggested for the project by Drew and Trevor of Davies and Chudleigh Architects who completed the initial design and specified the pre-finished facade product to complement the innovative structure and its environment.

In keeping with her client’s desire for a low maintenance, high-end finish, designer Sarah Knox, from Eskay Design, chose Cemintel’s Territory Urban Grey and Textured Ebony to meet the brief.

“They wanted the building to blend into its surrounding, which is a very raw natural environment, but they also wanted it to look professional and well finished,” says Sarah.

“It needed to maintain its integrity as an office building and have a contemporary edge, which is why we combined the two Cemintel cladding products on the facade.”

Cemintel’s modern, innovative and distinctive Territory range of pre-finished cement-bonded panels are suitable for both internal and external applications.

Mike says the cladding elevated the project from being “just another building” to something extra special. “The Textured Ebony panels are a very similar colouring to the granite rock surrounding the building, which is within a metre of the Ebony wall – so it looks like it’s meant to be there.”

Sarah has used the Territory panels in other projects and was keen to see it used for the office facade. “It’s an incredibly versatile product with an extensive range in terms of colours and finishes,” Sarah explains.

“I love the concrete look and Urban Grey fits this description to perfection. The ease of installation is a massive feature. The large format, pre-finished panels make it so much simpler to use.”

“It’s exactly what we wanted,” says Mike. “Andrew, our Cemintel representative, was wonderful with helping the guys understand what we needed, getting the orders right and responding to us if there were any questions or issues. There were numerous times when he came out to assist with correctly installing the product.

“Given it wasn’t a big project I was surprised and thankful for Andrew’s genuine support. He really made it a great process for us because we weren’t ever left wondering how we were going to handle things.”

Overall, both Mike and Sarah agree the building sits comfortably in its surroundings.

“It has come together in creating a welcoming space that doesn’t detract from its surroundings, but still draws you in and makes you want to go inside and explore even further,” Sarah says.

“Its wonderful to have this building,” says Mike. “It really provides a unique and enjoyable working environment for our staff and the clients have been really impressed by it as well.”

But it’s not just about its good looks, he adds.

“When we have conversations with clients about their future, it’s long term planning and goal setting – facilitating discussion about their ideal life and future. Doing that in this unique environment has really brought something special to the process.”

“I had a very wealthy man come out here with his wife a little while ago. They walked out on the deck, looked around and immediately said, ‘okay, I see why you’re out here’. That tells me we’ve made a great decision.”

Architect:
  • Eskay Design / Chudleigh Architects (Designer)
Osborne Street – Urban Grey