Local history of the Geographe region is showcased on 289sqm ImagInk Digital Printing over four unique facades of the new Busselton Civic and Administration Centre. Prominently situated on the Vasse River, the modern design focuses on energy efficiency incorporating InsulCool Double Glazing and innovative use of materials reflecting the new identity of the city.
BGC undertook the construction, with Jones Coulter Young and MCG Architects appointed to lead the design. One of the key aims was to create an innovative facility based around energy saving principles. Cooling Brothers supplied InsulCool Double Glazed Units in Energytech Green for the ImagInk printed façade glass, which not only played an integral role in achieving the buildings energy requirements, but was an ideal way to convey the story of the city. Cooling Brothers was approached by MCG Architects to assist in depicting four images with important links to the rich history of the region. Meredith Dixon from the City of Busselton describes :
“The four images are feature artworks in their own right. The images include a photo taken of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the original Busselton Train Station. Both these images were taken well over a hundred years ago. A third image, that of the Busselton Jetty, is a reproduction of one of the earliest known photographs of the jetty. The fourth photo which was taken in the 1960s was sourced from a community member. It depicts young surfies driving up Yallingup Hill with boards in the back of their car.
Inside the building, many images of local landscapes have been reproduced on office walls and doors. Perhaps most stunning is the Christian Fletcher photograph of the iconic Busselton Jetty which has been reproduced as a feature wall at the City’s customer service centre. This image is a magnificent entry statement for visitors to the building.”
Initially the team at Cooling Brothers was uncertain how successfully the low quality historical images would translate to the large facades, the biggest being over 170sqm. One of the images supplied was only available at 7dpi when re-sampled to full size! However, with a long viewing distance it was possible to place a clear dot pattern through the images allowing light to pass through the glass for the occupants, and still retain clarity of the images at street level.
Considerable testing was required as each image varied in quality and resolution. A consistent effect had to be maintained for the various locations of printing. Additionally, the grainy aged backgrounds proved challenging and required extensive editing by Cooling Brothers so as to not cover all the glass in scattered areas of print. After MCG tested cropped, scaled and spliced artwork on paper to their office windows, a large full scale prototype was taken to site to ensure the effect was successful from the outside and adequate light was allowed to pass through the dot effect for the internals.
Lloyd Pringle, Senior Architect at MCG describes that a film was initially considered to showcase the imagery, however ImagInk became the ideal solution due to the durabilty of the ceramic inks with a 25 year warranty, and the shading factor provided to the internal spaces. As the double glazing was critical to achieve energy efficiency requirements, a film would also not be easily replaced if applied to the internal face of the DGU and also not bold enough to be seen from the street. The green tint was a colour preference by the client, matching the coastal waters of the region and also contributing to better building envelope performance.