International House Sydney (IHS) is Australia’s first commercial and largest engineered timber building. The structure utilises a spruce CLT and Glulam structure, including floors, columns, walls, roof, lift shaft and stairs, supplemented with recycled Australian hardwood. Designed by Tzannes architects, IHS is a distinctive new element in the city, intended to establish a warm and welcoming connection between the new harbour precinct of Barangaroo and the heart of the city.
The architecture enhances the amenity and character of the public domain as well as the interior environment for its tenants and visitors by exploring a new form of beauty – one of unique and integral character, authenticity with a fully exposed timber structure stripped of adornment and unnecessary layers of finishing materials to celebrate the timber, all detailed with rigour to be enduring and sophisticated. IHS represents a prized Lendlease asset that has paved the way for the future of timber in this commercial context.
The project was originally intended to be built with a concrete frame. During the development of the design, engineered timber was substituted, on an equivalent cost and building height basis, to become the first engineered timber commercial building in Australia.
The project’s sustainability credentials are on display throughout. The building structure is 100% timber above the ground level, including the lift cores, stairs, risers, floor slabs, roof and walls – and as such is an authentic representation of the potential that engineered timber has to accommodate all elements for a commercial building of this size.
Photo credit: www.theguthrieproject.com