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Specification Background

FMD Architects founder Fiona Dunin loves to use Australian timbers in her design. She strives to support local designers and suppliers wherever she can in her designs.

Porta’s dowels featured prominently in one of her recent ‘Dowel House’ residential projects and also in other commercial projects.

The brief for the ‘Dowel House’ was to create and refurbish the internal rooms of an existing single-fronted terrace. A clerestory skylight was to remain but be furbished to become a point of focus over the dining area.

A Design Material: Porta’s Timber Dowel

FMD’s design strategy meant Porta’s Tasmanian Oak dowel featured prominently. It was used as the main feature in the sky light design, providing functional opportunities of opening and closing the windows in the skylight as well as incorporating shading devices. The timber dowels also offered an opportunity to become the rod to open the louvres as well as a decorative chandelier over the dining table. The chandelier can be reconfigured, with the coloured elements highlighting which dowels can be removed and repositioned to change the dowel display.

The use of the dowel then extended to its application within the kitchen as an art display device, shelving and support legs for the concrete benches. The dowels are also used as display ledges for the client’s extensive art collection, doors pulls, towel rails and wall hooks.

The circular cut-outs featured in the sliding study wall panel, robes and panelling to the skylight and the TV cupboard also repeat the dowel motif throughout the spaces.


“͞The dowel establishes a consistent design approach through each space, while varying its function in each instance. ͞This humble material is elevated to a higher level as it blurs the boundaries between the functional, the decorative and art.”

Fiona Dunin – Founder

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