Sale Funeral Home and Chapel

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Constructional Review Article

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Reprinted from the Constructional Review Volume 66 No. 3 August 1993


LOCATION - Maffra Road, Sale, Victoria
CLIENT - Lecora Pty Ltd
ARCHITECT - Craig A Rossetti Pty Ltd
Structural - Richard Lingard and Associates
Mechanical - Peter George and Associates
BUILDER - Lemchens and Skulte Pty Ltd
COST- $750 000
COST/m2 - $1100

[Constructional Review Front Cover]
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The choice of sand blasted tilt-up concrete panels and concrete blockwork for construction of this funeral home was for three specific reasons: aesthetics, acoustics and cost. In the process of the design the architect embraced the character of the materials in their natural state to create a building which fulfilled his ideals of subtlety and a non-domestic image for the project. He neither resorted to mouldings, mock-pediments, nor even paint, relying instead on dramatic form for his imagery.

He felt that the interior wall finishes should be subtle, in order not to distract the mourners from the focus of their grief, but nevertheless should have a certain complexity. Stone could have been an obvious choice but sandblasted concrete was used in preference due to its lack of associations, subtle texture and light reflectance. Concretes ability to reflect sound was used to advantage to subdue extraneous conversation which could be disturbing.

As well the materials selected and construction system used allowed the building to be completed for a cost of $1100/m2 despite its large spaces and special furniture. fittings and finishes.

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. The fan-shaped chapel stands in front of the offices and workshops of the funeral home. The fan-shaped form is derived from the six large tilt-up panels that form the freestanding walls of the chapel. The angled, self-bracing, load bearing panels are tied together by the steel roof framing. The structure behind is of fair faced concrete masonry as an external skin to a framed internal skin lined with plasterboard which conceals a light steel support structure. The raft slab which provides the floor and footings to this area was used as the casting bed for the tilt-up panels which were stack cast in pairs. The maximum panel size was 7.5 m high x 5.5 m long and 175 mm thick. Panels weighed up to 16 t and were erected in one day using a 30 t capacity crane. A four point lift was used employing Burke lifting accessories.

The panels were lowered onto dowel pins cast into pad footings, restraint was provided by the floor slab which was placed subsequently. The panels were sandblasted after erection and prior to the installation of the roof structure, glazing and fittings.

[Constructional Review Page 4]


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