Having heard of his progressive and adaptive design boutique, the client, a professional Gold Coast couple, approached Building Designer Reece Keil to meet their brief for a very low maintenance home. Being the entertainers that they are, they also wished to maximise views overlooking the waters of Surfers Paradise to the front of the property, while absorbing the northern aspect of the same direction.
Keil addresses form and function to deliver the quirky, modern design that his clients requested. Upon doing so, he has created quite an intrigue amongst Southport visitors.
Timber look without the upkeep
Cemintel Territory Woodlands was chosen to feature in this project, selected for its visual appearance and more importantly on this occasion, for its quality in minimal maintenance. The product itself is a cladding made of cement, bonded with fibrous wood particles, pressed with surface texture and prefinished using a durable paint process. The paint itself has a platinum coating technology that protects against UV damage and colour fade.
When given the brief, Keil had to do some research to find a product that was going to tick all the boxes. Partial to trying new products and using materials that aren’t so commonly used, Keil wanted to give Territory the spotlight on this home. “If they have something different to offer, and in this case, it was prefinished and that realistic looking rough sawn finish, it’s going to spark interest, and that’s what I’m all about, sparking interest.”
Due to the prefinished nature of this cladding, there is no touch up or repainting to be done years after install, making it a quick decision for Keil and his client. “Once you install it, you don’t have to touch it again.”
On selling the concept to the client, Keil said, “they’re very house proud and they like to talk about the things on the house, the products and what not. I showed them some samples and we sat them out in the sun, and the rain, in the shade and all of that, and went through the acceptance process. They took all of it onboard and loved it, loved how it was, and ultimately used it.”
Available in a variety of colours, Keil opted to utilise two of the colour selections for this project. Keeping the overall palette light to suit the coastal surroundings, Territory Woodlands Limed was used for the front façade, while Territory Woodlands Whitewash was used for the secondary elevation over the rear garage. Keil was concerned that the cladding was not going to be light enough, but the depth created from the differing colours makes for a dynamic and alluring aesthetic. He says, “(The Territory) gives the house different identities throughout the day, depending on what the weather is doing.”
The cladding can look fairly white in the sunlight and adopts a creamy appearance later when evening sets in.
Installing a cladding such as this provided a nice contrast to the neighbour’s architecturally designed brick dwelling. Keil’s design had to compete with another building that is also interesting. Utilising the Cemintel products allowed for the two homes to sit proudly next to each other, both striking, but very different. In fact, the cladding on Keil’s design is so different, it prompts great curiosity among passersby. The client has been in their home now for over a year and their feedback to Keil is “They love the fact that everybody always asks about it.”
When asked to describe the finish of Cemintel Territory™, Keil replied, “It’s textural, it’s natural looking from afar. The good thing about it, particularly in this case, is a lot of people that see this house don’t know what that is, straightaway they think it’s timber because it’s got the rough sawn appearance to it and you can’t pick up a pattern repeat in that.
So straight away people’s mind goes to timber, and then they start thinking about maintenance and it looks great but it’s going to need all of this maintenance stuff. And then once you actually start explaining to them what it is, they love it because it gets the look that people want without the maintenance.”
Compared to other prefinished materials that either don’t look as realistic, or that need to be repainted every 5 years, the Territory is a premium and low maintenance product.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Being a reasonably newer material to the market, this project was the first time Cemintel Territory™ was used by Reece Keil and builder, Tidal Constructions. The cladding comes in three-metre-long planks, fitted together with a weather resistant tongue and groove joint.
The biggest challenge onsite arose from the gorgeous, curved walls which wrap around the side of the front elevation. Keil and the builder were able to get a Cemintel technician out on site to work through a solution.
“There’s certain documentation that’s readily available about the installation process and everything, but it’s not until the guys are onsite and actually physically doing it that certain things come up, so to be able to get someone out there, after sales support, to educate them and hold their hand throughout the journey is real good.”
This was an important part of the construction as Reece continues to explain, “As soon as you start deviating from a set manufacturer’s installation requirement, you void your warranty.” Once a solution was found for cladding the curved walls, Cemintel also assisted in providing the warranty.
Like anything unknown, it takes getting used to new installation methods. The trades were accepting of the challenge and Keil compliments Cemintel saying, “they were quite accommodating with educating the guys about the installation methods as well.” Once the Cemintel support had arrived, trades got what they needed to continue confidently with the rest of the construction, and in future projects.
As far as componentry, Cemintel’s cladding systems come with all trims and flashing required for a seamless finish. A great example of this is the blade wall on the front elevation. What is a limitation of the board length, has been cleverly turned into an intentional feature, incorporating Cemintel’s flashing components to balance the wall, which is obviously taller than the 3 metre length. Instead of installing the board and having the flashing randomly place at the longest length, Keil introduced a second flashing so the break ended up in vertical symmetry, which easily disguises the construction requirement as another beautiful bespoke feature of the home.
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