Laser cut to perfection: Trinity Grammar School

Child-proofing any space can prove to be a challenge no matter who you are. But, Trinity Grammar School in Strathfield, New South Wales approached Locker about constructing a facade for one of the buildings used to teach year five and six students the arts. Adjacent to the heritage building on campus, we were faced with the task of harmonising the two structures together with a singular design using laser-cut metal sheets.

The results were spectacular. Let's take a look at what went into the project to get it where it is today.

An intricate, laser-cut design made to add intrigue and inspiration to an all-boys school.  An intricate, laser-cut design made to add intrigue and inspiration to an all-boys school.

The project

The Trinity Grammar School is a primary and secondary school for boys in inner-western Sydney. It was founded in 1913 and offers students the chance to explore and learn in the earliest years of their development. The campus is blanketed with green grass, brick buildings and intricate triangular permanent art designs that are reminiscent of Anglican-style decor.

Working with Stephen Edwards Construction and TZG Architects firm, Locker was tasked to develop a facade outside of their creative arts building. Because young children use the building, the caveat was developing a design laser cut into metal sheets that would not pose a safety hazard to the students.

Light and ventilation were also necessary for the design so a straightforward metal sheet or wall would not have met the needs of the space. The facade needed to stretch three floors and look similar to the surrounding decor of the building.

Safety considerations and parameters

Large-scale external walls must follow AS5113:2016, an Australian Standard of safety against fire. This includes fasteners, sealants and fixings of the building's facade. The ventilation of the wall is a consideration as well when faced with fire resilience.

The AS/NZS 1170 and AS/NZS 4284 work together to ensure the facade is energy efficient, wind resistant and can hold its structural integrity in the face of an earthquake.

Design preferences and safety standards for the project were taken into consideration as we approached the project, and acted as a guide toward our final solution.

Our approach

Locker professionals decided to work with three-millimetre aluminium laser-cut panels for this project. Aluminium is a strong, weather-resistant material. It is corrosion-resistant and holds its shape over many years no matter the weather conditions — making it a low-maintenance option.

Aluminium is helpful for more intricate designs like the one used in this project because of the metal's flexibility. Laser cutting the metal panels offered the chance to leverage the client's design, and ensure that it would hold its integrity in the final product. The material is excellent for conducting heat, which helps dissipate hot Australian summers, and helps keep the building inside cool without using too much energy.

As an eco-conscious community, aluminium was also a great choice because of its sustainability factors. It's 100% recyclable, and much of the aluminium ever produced is used today according to the Australian Aluminium Council. Locker strives to always use Australian-made metal materials to continue the sustainability of our projects.

The laser-cut panels were uniquely designed by the architect to call back some of the decor elements from around the campus. With some adjustments to protect the children nearby, the result was a beautifully intricate facade that allowed for ventilation, sunlight, sun cover and creating inspiration.

The final results

The final look of the building creates a sense of prestige, yet welcomes creative influence. The children and staff of the school can enjoy the sun as it comes in and check the scenery outside without falling victim to the sweltering heat known to Sydney summers.

Working with the design elements already existing around the building, the facade blends in to create a cohesive look and feel. You can pick out the triangular shapes that play on the school's trinity name.

Custom laser-cut solutions for any occasion

Whether you're looking for laser-cut custom designs or standard aluminium facade cladding, Locker has the solution you need. Laser cutting allows you to create 2D design elements, and make any building front look interesting, intricate, spectacular and unique.

We work with your design vision to help you find the best metal solution for your needs. Depending on where and for what purpose your metal sheet is being used, our friendly professionals can support your custom-made project based on the requirements of the space.

If you want to learn more about other laser-cut projects by Locker, or if you have an idea of your own, contact a Locker professional today to get started.