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Project / Completed 2022

MASSLAM Trees in the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre

/ By Jackson Architecture, Katsieris Origami

The Space

The new Gippsland Performing Arts Centre taking localised supply to the next level with the MASSLAM trees on display.


“The new Performing Arts Centre symbolically communicates the idea of the forest as a unique design metaphor. In this way, both the history and future of the Latrobe Valley, as a place of timber production, become linked in the public imagination”

What started as a vision to create a world class performing arts centre in Gippsland, has finally come to fruition with this incredible space in the Latrobe Valley. Creating an environment for local artists, businesses and creators to thrive, the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre (GPAC) combines modern facilities with a truly inspired design.

Including a 750 seat auditorium, indoor and outdoor spaces for workshops, events and an onsite café, GPAC is your place to connect, create and experience the arts. Bringing together the best in entertainment, creativity and culture for all of Gippsland.

Designed by Jackson Architecture in association with Katsieris Origami, GPAC’s leading attribute is the MASSLAM trees standing 8.5m tall in the foyer. To complement the trees, the two storey open space is dotted with timber components, floor to ceiling windows and a red carpet, representative of theatres across the globe.

Symbolising the lost heritage of timber buildings in Gippsland, the trees demonstrate the best in timber manufacturing and engineering in Australia, having been produced by ASH in conjunction with technical partners TGA Engineers and Heyfield Steel Pty Ltd.

“The design of abstracted ‘tree’ structures in engineered timber and a ‘variegated forest canopy’ with structural glue laminated timber to the main foyer offer beauty, lightness, welcome and accessibility” – Jackson Architecture.

Manufactured using ASH’s state-of-the-art MASSLAM line in Heyfield, each tree took approximately 16 hours of CNC work by the Hundegger Industry 450 K2i – the first machine of its kind in the world. Highlighting both the incredible capability of our local MASSLAM product and experience of the in-house engineering team.

Once CNC’d, the trees underwent sanding, polishing, custom fabricated steel connections attached, joined together and capped with timber plugs. A magnificent feat for any mass timber project.


“A key part of the building’s construction utilises local industry in the fabrication and assembly of large, glue-laminated (glulam) timber structures. These are the abstracted, tree-like structural support systems used in the foyer areas. The symbolic cluster of trees in the foyer was proposed by us to recall the traditional, continuing importance of trees to the region”


“Gippsland Performing Arts Centre is the embodiment of localised mass timber supply. The project is based in Gippsland, featuring Australian owned, grown and manufactured products”

Not only are the trees used structurally in the GPAC foyer, but they are also incredibly sustainable. The timber used in this project is PEFC certified by Responsible Wood, has a closed loop cycle, takes about 0.28 minutes to grow in the same forests and sequesters about 21,000kg of carbon dioxide.

MASSLAM is a range of glue-laminated timber systems (including columns, beams and floors) and is Australia’s answer to local, sustainable, mass timber supply. Learn more about the revolutionary brand here.

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