Urban Salvage

The Drum


      OCTOBER 2011

  • The Elephant Has Left The Building
  • What's New

The Elephant Has Left The Building

A recent project by Melbourne design studio Foolscap reveals some of the many complexions of Australian native hardwoods. Men's clothing retailer Vanishing Elephant has opened in a new store in the Queen Victoria Building retail centre on a floor of scuffed reclaimed hardwood floorboards. The Tasmanian Oak boards bearing the stamp of Tasmania's Russell Sawmill hail from an old rail shed in the Flinders Street precinct - having endured about seventy years of toil with breath left in them still - but little of their original planed refinement. The installation may have left a few traders in Melbourne's Retail Temple aghast - but the coarse nap and agricultural appearance of the boards is impressive, and infuses the overall design with a sense of adventure and exoticism.

Burnished Spotted Gum in its variegated tones contrasts with the foot-worn and abraded floorboards on the shop floor. These planed recycled timbers are resized from large section bridge and pole timbers, and profiled to floorboard - but reveal only occasional glimpses of a hard life. Recycled gum-veined Messmate frames the display windows and entry. Both are sanded and oiled to a furniture finish. It's a study in tonal contrasts. A concert of timber textures in an inventive arrangement - finding design expression amongst the polished stone and manicured American Oaks of the QVB.



Images courtesy of Tom Blachford, Photographer.

What's New

Tasmanian Oak Specials

For those with a sense of adventure or a project requiring a rustic look, you can find inspiration and value on our Bargain Packs page online. Foolscap designers Sian Pascale and Adele Winteridge found their Rail Shed floor on this page. Currently there is a Beech Myrtle and some recycled Blackwood - as well as a list of Tasmanian Oak joblots and remainders.

Reclaimed Tasmanian Oak with original patina installed in urban cafe fit out by Breathe Architecture.

Image courtesy of Andrew Wuttke, Photographer.

Recycled Spotted Gum Flooring
80 x 19mm (SN/EM)   Rate $99.00/m2

Spotted Gum has been both popular and in short supply for many months - and I'm not sure we need to advertise this limited availability timber in order for it to sell quickly. But I can't help sharing the news. This is such deeply-bronzed and richly-toned flooring when compared to any of the new forest timbers we keep in the same species. Designers Sian and Adele found it irresistible for the joinery and counters in the Vanishing Elephant store fit out. End-matched and Secret-nail profile boards at a very reasonable price. 


Seasoned Brushbox
110 x 110mm   Rate $59.00/m (new forest product)

Legstock or posts in a furniture grade timber with lots of wavy grain and a variant lustre.
A difficult dimension to source, but useful for heavy table leg or newell post.


Recycled Spotted Gum Decking
86 x 19mm   Rate $109.00/m2

Fancy putting a furniture grade timber like this out in the weather!
Can you think of an indoor application that would showcase the true colours of Spotted Gum?


Recycled Messmate
DAR Board   210 x 30mm; 170 x 30mm; 100 x 30mm

Recycled Messmate in 30mm thickness has been popular in recent months, so we have plenty in stock for you.
A rewarding dimension - lighter than the 35mm dressed at the local timberyard, but with more body than the 19mm planks
you find in furniture applications that require supports or insist upon short spans.
This size allows you greater design freedom.