Together with ARM Architecture, Architectus and Fab Metal Specialists, Valmont Coatings Australia has won the Global Galvanizing Award for the University of Melbourne’s Arts West Building.

(Above) The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts building / John Gollings.

According to Aaron King (Managing Director of Valmont Coatings), “With 36 projects submitted from 13 different countries, we are thrilled the project has taken out this prestigious international award.”

The $66 million Arts West Redevelopment Project was one of the University of Melbourne’s most significant infrastructure projects in recent years. A major component of the Arts West Redevelopment project was the renovation of the university’s Faculty of Arts building.

One of the most stunning and distinctive visual features of the new Faculty of Arts building is its louvered façade, which involved ground-breaking use of steel. The building effectively has two skins: a glass wall and a structure of parallel horizontal steel fins or louvres—resembling deep exterior venetian blinds. The façade is both a passive solar-control element and an architectural manifestation of the Faculty of Arts.

The steel sections of each louvre were shaped so that they form a series of 3D images. The images are ‘pressed’ into the façade and reveal themselves to viewers at different times of the day and from different viewpoints. The images feature selected objects from the University of Melbourne’s 23 Cultural Collections.

Valmont Coatings coated 480 individual steel sections in zinc prior to their delivery to the University of Melbourne construction site. Valmont Coatings’ plant in suburban Campbellfield, north of the
Melbourne CBD, completed each batch of the galvanized steel louvres within an average turnaround of two to three working days in the plant.

The Global Galvanizing Award is presented by the European General Galvanizers Association (EGGA) every three years for outstanding hot-dip galvanized steel architecture.