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Project / Completed 2021

MASSLAM Columns Stand Tall at the UTAS Burnie Campus

/ By John Wardle Architects

The Space

Drawing on biophilic design elements, UTAS Burnie fosters a natural environment for students by utilising Australian made MASSLAM columns.


“The profiled nature of the building envelope breaks down the building scale from what could be dominating as a single form, into smaller modules, alluding to many buildings within a campus rather than a campus within a single building.”

Timber is more than a building material, it is a resource that connects nature with design. As so beautifully curated by John Wardle Architects for the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) West Park Campus located in Burnie, this $52 million dollar build utilised local materials to complete a visionary educational centre for students and visitors.

In collaboration with Fairbrother, UTAS Burnie is the combination of clever design and innovative procurement. The new campus was designed to provide a world-class learning experience, doing so by incorporating biophilic elements like timber. Natural elements were paired with practical products like hard-wearing carpet and durable furniture to complete the functional space.

Along with timber veneers and joinery, UTAS employed MASSLAM45 ‘seen-structural’ 450 x 450 columns and an array of mullions to transform this university campus. MASSLAM45 (made from PEFC certified Victorian ash) is part of our MASSLAM range of glue-laminated columns, beams, floor and roof systems for mass timber construction.

Mass timber itself offers major benefits to construction as it is cheaper than concrete and steel, faster to build with, safer due to prefabrication, more accurate, lighter in weight and fire resistant. MASSLAM specifically has advantages that allow longer spans, higher ceilings, increased floor space, lesser beam depth and lower associated installation costs.

Learn more about the MASSLAM range here.


“UTAS Burnie perfectly showcases the use of innovative timber products, championing Australian grown and owned solutions such as MASSLAM – our range of mass timber columns, beams, floor and roof systems.”

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