Creating identity through a feature facade


Designer:            Crosshatch

Contractor:         Lang Constructions

Landscape:          Ginkgo Paradise

Year:                     2016

Photography:     Jaime Diaz-Berrio

Incorporating the unique requirements of a location is often an issue for architects, however, the team at Crosshatch accepted all challenges and delivered a quality outcome in Wallan Veterinary Hospital. A combination of architectural masterstrokes separates the project from other health facilities, meeting the requirements of the client while still showing an incredible design flair. 


The Project

The first, and most obvious challenge when designing for this project was the location itself. With the lot situated in a residential area, Crosshatch were careful not to disrupt the suburban surrounds.

“The hospital is located within a residential zone and we were determined to be as respectful as possible with the neighbouring buildings. After our site analysis, we decided that a timber façade would go a long way in softening the building’s presence.” Jaime Diaz-Berrio, Co-founder of Crosshatch

The minimalist footprint and simple shape of the building itself also keep the structure from obtruding in its environment. The sloping of the block was another hurdle to overcome, the architects raised the building on a recessive masonry base which also solved any issues related to flooding.

Crosshatch also needed to consider the specific needs of a veterinary hospital, which was at the forefront of designers Diaz-Berrio and Allan’s minds 

As a health facility, it includes multiple interior uses and differing window (light and ventilation) requirements. We needed a façade system to help us unify the forms whilst providing sun protection, view control and ventilation.”

Knowing they wanted to use a cladding system which showed no visible fixings on the timber was key to design intent and is where Woodform’s Concept Click system was integrated into the project. 

The Woodform Effect

Woodform’s Concept Click system was used in this project to create the amazing batten screening feature which spans three sides of the structure. Integrated doors are incorporated seamlessly into the design, providing access without disrupting the overall aesthetic. Using 32x42mm Spotted Gum battens, the screening gives the entire building an understated yet intriguing aesthetic.

Crosshatch took full advantage of the aesthetic Concept Click can provide, and were pleased with the results, as Diaz-Berrio explained: 

“One of the most important aspects of the façade is the effect the battens create as you approach the building and walk around it. The form changes from being an apparently solid timber box to being nearly transparent. As you move around the building this level of transparency changes and seems to interact with you.”

By using the battens as an outer shell around the windows of the building, the architects allow in huge amounts of natural light while still providing shade from the sun. Integrated doors are incorporated seamlessly, providing access without disrupting the overall design. The battens also give the structure an identity of its own, showing a design flair which provides the business with a recognisable feature to remember and recommend to others. Open 24 hours, at night the light from inside emits a warm glow through the screening creating a recognisable silhouette further emphasising the sense of identity created by the facade.


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