Surf’s Up: Wooden Panels bring warmth and colour to URBNSURF

Situated in Australia’s premier surf park, URBNSURF, iconic hospitality chain the Three Blue Ducks has opened its largest and most operationally complex venue to date.

The eatery incorporates Big River Group’s Armourpanel decorative plywood to help frame the building’s industrial aesthetic with a natural colour and warmth.


With  an  expansive  outdoor  poolside  dining  area  and unobstructed  views  across  the  sparkling  two-hectare  surf  lagoon,  the 1,600-square-metre  restaurant,  which  is housed  in a  new  building  with  an  industrial,  corrugated  steel  shell,  has  400  seats  on  the  ground  floor,  the mezzanine and alfresco dining areas. “The client wanted the space to be a reflection of their brand and in fitting with their existing venues, they were looking for a certain authenticity through warm and tonal materials which we knew Armourpanel could deliver,” says Tom Walkerfrom MIC Projects.

Keeping in mind the designer’s brief to create an authentic space, MIC Projects used Big  River  Armourpanel  in  Spotted  Gum  for  the  wall  linings  and  joinery.  Having previously worked with the leading timber supplier they knew it could deliver the right warmth and tone to complement the desired aesthetic, as well as having confidence that the product was durable enough for such a high traffic, commercial space.

The space  is  layered  with  natural  materials,  colours  and textures. On the restaurant’s ground floor, Shou Sugi Ban charred timber was used to panel the bar and walls while galvanised   steel   sheets   serve   as   a   backsplash,   the countertops   and   floors   are   made   from   hardwearing polished  concrete. While on  the  mezzanine  level  the richness  of Spotted Gum  covers  every  surface  giving consistency to the warm tones that accompany the industrial fabric of the fit out. “The depth of colour and unique  timber characteristics of each panel not only gave the  desired authenticity to  the  project,  complementing  the industrial  palette, but provided the security of knowing it was a hard-wearing product to stand the test of time,” says Tom.

Armourpanel is Australia’s strongest decorative plywood, designed, tested and approved to tolerate extremes of heat and humidity and to resist shrinkage. Every panel is made from layers of Australian eucalypt hardwood veneers bonded together to   form   a   strong,   solid, stable   panel. Its   tolerance   of   changes   in   ambient temperatures and its toughness make it ideal for hard wearing areas. Tom continues, “The range of product thicknesses allow it to be used for floors and walls, as well as furniture and cabinetry, enabling a well curated and crafted palette of natural materials to be employed in  the  design. We have specified Big River’s timbers on many projects. It is such a beautiful product to work with, we have always been  satisfied  with  their  services  and  timber  products,  and  quality  and  care  of customer support in their sales and technical teams.”

Images by T.Pakioufakis via Big River Group

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