Robert Morris-Nunn on sustainability and projects that speak of place
As architects now, we are legally bound to produce sustainable buildings, which is absolutely as it should be, says Director of Circa Morris-Nunn Architects, Robert Morris-Nunn. And according to Robert, Timber is one of the best choices for sustainability.
“All of our projects try to push sustainability to the forefront as much as we can. So, using materials that are of their very nature sustainable, is a very important part of that for us.
“The very fact that timber grows, and regenerates is a very great plus. It is a living product, which is a locally available resource, and something that is unique.
“Timber also brings authenticity of place to a project, and part of belonging to a place is to use the products of that place.”
Circa Morris-Nunn use timber in practically every project that they’re involved in.
“The fact that it is a warm, living material means that people relate to it. In places where people are under stress, like medical institutions, it looks humane compared to other “antiseptic” alternatives,” says Robert.
Robert’s role is to create opportunities for projects, showcasing what’s possible, particularly in high quality tourism developments, as well as instigating the ideas, to make developments happen that otherwise wouldn’t happen.
“One of the things that is important to me, and it has started to come through in international forums, is an opportunity to use cross laminated timber in conjunction with steel as a viable alternative to reinforced concrete. I’d like to use that more and more in different projects.
“I am a firm believer that the use of quality hardwood in conjunction with fairly limited amounts of steel can actually produce very robust, intelligent, innovative structures.
“For me the hardwood of choice because it is grown here, and because it’s a very nice material to use, is Tasmanian Oak. We use it for a decorative timber in buildings as much as we can. Other Tasmanian timbers that are scarcer, get used as veneers. We’re also very happy to use old timber.”
Robert says there is a wide range of timbers here for them to use, from hardwoods to softwoods, and they wouldn’t go anywhere else for timber unless they really had to.
Circa Morris-Nunn Architects’ niche is creating projects that speak of “this particular place.” To honour the stories that are here and what people believe are unique attributes of Tasmania.
“That’s the reason why people come to us. If you think of Tasmania, it is the quality timbers that are here. And they should be used. They are not used nearly enough. They speak of this place like nothing else.”
Circa Morris-Nunn have worked on a number of high profile and award-winning projects in Tasmania such as the Henry Jones Art Hotel, The Islington Hotel, Nant Mill Distillery, Landscape Restaurant, Peacock and Jones Restaurant, Aloft Restaurant, Saffire Resort, Port Arthur Resort, Brooke Street Pier, and Mountain Retreat Medical.