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USG Boral’s bespoke metal ceiling for The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Custom-made metal panels spanning 380 square metres blend into the structure.

The unique curvature of the ceiling required meticulous execution.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney ceiling by USG Boral

The custom-designed metal ceiling at The Calyx exhibition centre is a result of meticulous execution

Over a company’s lifetime, there are only a handful of projects undertaken that are deserving of champagne, celebration and a feeling of intense pride. For USG Boral, that moment came when The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney – a world-class, living art gallery purpose-built for hosting indoor and outdoor horticultural exhibitions – opened on 11 June 2016.

USG Boral was entrusted with the epic task of providing supply and installation of a bespoke radial metal-pan ceiling for the project. The result was 380 square metres of USG Boral Metal Ceiling products installed in over 50 different-sized panels, custom-made to blend organically into the naturalistic curves of The Calyx structure.

Despite the complexities and challenges of the brief, the team at USG Boral employed exemplary problem-solving skills in overcoming the technical hurdles that came with a ceiling design as unique as that of the The Calyx. The team worked alongside PTW Architects, Cockram Construction and Conrad Interiors to achieve an uncompromised architectural vision.

The ceiling includes A062 panel perforations for its internal acoustic properties and flat panels on the external side. The project also features a row of flat panels at the highest internal point, as the perforated panels could not be made to the required length. A Fineline Grid was custom punched to create a radius on the raking ceiling and Celebration Metal Panels were custom-designed to suit the radius and powdercoated to match the window mullions.

“By working closely with USG’s international project design manager Sandy Pancoe in Chicago, and the international project execution manager John Funes also in Chicago, we were able to re-engineer the grid and panels to ensure the ceiling required no field cutting once on site,” says Paul Sheehan, USG Boral Architectural Ceilings account manager.

Those familiar with the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will recognize The Calyx from its former guise as the Arc Glasshouse in the south-western corner. The gardens themselves consider this new integrated space as “intelligent, sensitive architecture” that “exploits its northern orientation to achieve optimal light transmission for the proper health of the plant life.” USG Boral used plasterboard between bays to allow for such lighting requirements. The colour selected from the Dulux range was Shimmering Champagne.

The Calyx at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is already in full swing, reinventing itself with every exhibition and proving resplendent in all its design features, including its luminous, one-of-a-kind metal ceiling. This is a project that reflects highly on all those involved in its creation, and one that USG Boral, in particular, considers a jewel in the company crown.