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Reading: How Caesarstone pipped natural stone in award-winning sustainable project

How Caesarstone pipped natural stone in award-winning sustainable project

3 min read

“With Caesarstone® we found a quality product that was more durable, versatile, consistent and cost-effective than its more unsustainable natural cousins like granite, marble and limestone.”

Eugene Cheah

Architects Eugene Cheah and Joanne Saw wanted all aspects of their award-winning project to reflect both the beautiful aesthetic and eco-friendly ethos. So when they searched for the kitchen’s benchtops and splashback, Caesarstone® ticked every box. What used to be a dark, cramped home in Melbourne’s Hawthorn now boasts a bright, open living space where a skylight that spans the length of the room overlooks undulating rafters and walls made from locally-grown plantation hoop pine.

Photography: Trevor Mein
Photography: Trevor Mein

Below, Eugene talks about the Henry Street House project, which transformed the 155sqm single-storey weatherboard cottage by replacing an existing rear extension. It has won several prestigious design awards, including Best Residential Design in Victoria at the 2017 Australian Interior Design Awards.

How did the focus on sustainability impact the budget?

There tends to be a belief that you need to throw money at sustainability. It’s something we talked about with the clients and we weren’t really sure if it would be achievable.

But we found that the budget limitations on this project actually helped drive efficiency and sustainability. For instance, there was very little wastage. The laminated veneer lumber, structured posts and beams are all one product. The cladding is the same product in plywood sheet form and a superior grade of that sheet is used for the joinery.

It’s just completely seamless throughout, and the Caesarstone® benchtops and splashback are an important part of that.

Photography: Trevor Mein
Photography: Trevor Mein

How important was the decision to choose a product like Caesarstone?

We found some really nice parallels between hoop pine and Caesarstone. For instance, hoop pine is a sustainable modest raw material that has been processed into something that has a much higher value but still retains a sense of the original material. It’s tactile and warm, and has all these amazing qualities that come from the manufacturing and technological process.

It’s similar with Caesarstone, which starts off as quartz. But then it’s processed and turned into high-quality slabs that become those beautiful and durable Caesarstone® benchtops and splashbacks.

Photography: Trevor Mein

Discover the Project Profile:
Henry Street House by Eugene Cheah Architecture

Photography: Trevor Mein

Apart from the sustainability aspects, how do you feel Caesarstone® compares with natural stone?

We found that both hoop pine and Caesarstone® were fairly cost-effective against their more natural cousins.

Caesarstone® products are durable, consistent and provide a huge amount of predictability in terms of quality. Sometimes that quality comes down to a consistent finish, and that meant we had no issue matching the London Grey benchtops and splashback.

From a design perspective, it’s also very versatile. If you chose a natural stone you would have to consider if it’s going to be too thick or heavy, but with Caesarstone® you have the ability to get different sizes and thicknesses.

We also liked the fact that Caesarstone® is recognisably Caesarstone. London Grey matched the look and feel of the rest of this project without necessarily trying to mimic something like a marble or granite.

Photography: Trevor Mein
Photography: Trevor Mein

Henry Street House Features:

Architect: Eugene Cheah Architecture

Structural Engineer: Co-Struct

Benchtops: Caesarstone® London Grey™ 5000

Splashback: Caesarstone® London Grey™ 5000

Photography: Trevor Mein