Daramu House Art Wall

  • 2020

  • Architectural
    Interior Design

Designed By:

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


This artwork, located in the entry foyer of Daramu House, interprets Barangaroo’s changing foreshore line. It speaks of the shifting pressures of time and industry that have carved out a shoreline rich in beauty, ingenuity and history. Carved into spruce-CLT-panels, it exhibits beauty and innovation in engineered timber fabrication.

view website

Image: Brett Boardman
Image: Ben Guthrie
Image: Brett Boardman
Image: Tony Lam
Image: Tony Lam
Image: Tony Lam
Image: Ben Guthrie
Image: Brett Boardman
  • MORE
  • Engineered cross laminated timber (CLT) is a new and revolutionary material being used to construct large contemporary buildings, as a replacement for structural materials such as steel and concrete. Daramu House is one of the first commercial buildings in the world constructed using this timber technology throughout. The interpretive art wall was conceived by the design team to showcase this unique material and explore the potential of shaping and crafting the wooden prefabricated panels using 5-axis CNC machinery. Located in the entry foyer of Daramu House, the artwork extends from one side to the other, an area of 16x3.6 metres.

  • Key to realising the art-wall was a deep understanding of digital fabrication methods, the machinery's capabilities and our ability to design to this palette. Each member of the design and fabrication team worked closely together, undertaking extensive prototyping to expand this in areas and identify key design parameters. New software and hardware tools were required to push the boundaries of fabrication beyond construction tolerances and regular geometry. The outcome; an art-piece which embraces and celebrates digital fabrication, achieving for the first time, on this type of machinery, forms and a level of finish which had not previously been thought possible.

  • Firstly, the expressive potential of timber in the reinvented form of mass timber and in the age of digital fabrication, employed in full effect with the art-wall and construction of the floors above. Secondly, it references Barangaroo’s history, celebrating its dynamic evolution in form and use of the precinct. From pre-settlement natural shoreline, to late-1800’s solid timber-framed wharfs and piers, to late-1900’s concrete slab of container-ship port facility, and now a vibrant urban renewal precinct. Thirdly, it plays a crucial urban role by turning the lobby into a unique destination at a critical position relative to the larger precinct.

  • Aside from the organic topography of the harbour bed, deep geometric cuts for man-made streets and lanes, the work also incorporates hardwood and brass inlays to scribe the various changing shoreline profiles and memories of previous structures. Daramu means ‘tree house’ in the local Sydney indigenous language. Continuing the relationship with the first people of Australia and Barangaroo herself, the art wall incorporates references to the indigenous naming of geographic locations across the art-wall.