Rock solid GLT-CLT structure rises among boulders at Geelong

An amazing residence utilising all-timber glulam (GLT) and CLT is under construction at Ceres, a rural township near Geelong, Vic, and already it has become an iconic structure on the horizon.

The concept design for the Royd Clan’s House was inspired mainly by the boulders and the remains of the previous house, and will be featured at the Timber Offsite Construction conference in Melbourne next month.

Architect Nadine Samaha from Level Architekture explains: “I wanted to create a structure which emulated these boulders coming from the ground.

“Strong winds on the hill consolidated the idea of fragmenting the house in pavilion clusters which reduces the wind turbulence and appear as boulders.

“Scattered stones from the remains of the previous house are brought into the existing structure as support for internal stairs. This concept also responded to the need for playful architecture for the clients' active young boys.”

The objective of building completely in timber provided a challenge for Nathan Benbow of Vistek engineers and Rob Mansell from Hyne Timber in the design of the house structure, which comprises glulam portal frames arranged in one of the primary axes of each pavilion.

The floor and roof diaphragms are cross laminated timber supplied by XLam Australia, and the inclined wall of each pavilion is constructed with CLT to create a shear wall perpendicular to the portal frames.

GLT beams and CLT panels were fabricated with CNC machinery to ensure all elements could be assembled with a high degree of precision on site, which is crucial for a structure with unique and complex geometry.

The total volume of timber in the project is 40m3 of GLT and 180m3 of CLT – which Australian pine plantations will be re-grown in just 17 minutes.

The Ceres project will be a highlight of the project panel session program at the Melbourne conference on June 17 and 18. Visit

Introduction of building project discussions is a new feature at the event and offers an opportunity to engage with all the key participants in construction projects.

Delegates will gain firsthand experience from design and construction professionals that demonstrate the high levels of expertise available for timber and mass wood buildings in Australia.

Article from Timber & Forestry E-News, Issue 558