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Man-Made Trees steal the Spotlight

Ten structural columns in the shape of trees will be a highlight of the Traralgon theatres foyer.

By Portal Admin - 21st December 2020 - Back to News

A performance in the heart of Traralgon continues to hold the audience in awe and the shows about to get bigger.

Construction of the Latrobe Creative Precinct in Traralgon will enter another level when a standout architectural feature is erected, early in the new year.

Ten structural columns in the shape of trees will be a stunning highlight of the Traralgon theatres foyer and a nod to increasing innovation in Gippslands timber industry.

The 9.5m pylons have been made from Victorian Ash by Heyfield timber millers and manufacturers, Australian Sustainable Hardwood (ASH).

The Latrobe Creative Precinct pylons use about 60m3 of timber that will have a significant environmental benefit by storing 21 tonnes of carbon for life.

The pylons are the result of an innovative and efficient manufacturing process that entails glue-laminating timber lengths together to produce larger columns or beams that become significantly stronger.

ASH uses a machine known as the K2i Hundegger CNC machine, the largest of its kind in the world.

Each tree takes approximately 16 hours to make before they are sanded, polished and have custom fabricated steel connections attached. The members are then bolted together and capped with timber plugs to conceal the fixings. The tree columns are now being assembled in a factory in Melbourne ahead of being transported to the Latrobe Creative Precinct site for erection.

Victorian Ash has some of the best strength-to-weight ratios of any timber internationally, saving manufacturing time and using 40 per cent less timber to make the same product using European timbers.

"While theatre-goers will enjoy world class shows at the new Latrobe Creative Precinct, they will also be in awe of these tree columns when entering the foyer, which will be a talking point in their own right," Latrobe City Council Mayor Cr Sharon Gibson said.

The arts centre will include a state-of-the-art theatre, with a 25 metre high fly tower, 750 seats across two levels, conference/meeting rooms, a caf and outdoor event spaces.

The fly tower is used for flying in stage backdrops, lighting rigs, curtains and other equipment needed for small to large productions.

The Latrobe Creative Precinct is due to be completed in the second half of 2021.

The project has been made possible by collaborative investment from the Australian Governments Community Development Grants Programme, the Victorian Governments Regional Jobs and infrastructure Fund and Latrobe City Council.


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