Lysaght Inspirations Design awards - Student commendation

Used in this project

COLORBOND® steel - Classic finish
Ethan McMartin from Skillstech TAFE, Queensland earned a commendation in the student category of the Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards for his distinctive, yet practical family home design. His design features LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® and LONGLINE 305® cladding made from COLORBOND® steel.

The design of a distinct yet practical family home by mature-aged student Ethan McMartin from Skillstech TAFE, Queensland, has caught judges’ eyes in the recent Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards (LIDA), earning him a coveted commendation.

Juggling part-time study with part-time work and parenthood, Ethan made a career change five years ago, swapping the tools of a French polisher with drafting software, to pursue a future in building design.

With his entry he proved that it doesn’t take a multi-million dollar development or high-end architectural fit-out to create a striking design, instead, he achieved great results by applying sound architectural principles and creative use of materials.

His design submission features a flexible floorplan that includes four bedrooms, an office, a theatre room, two bathrooms and a double garage along with a generous undercover alfresco dining area.

A key design element is a raked roofline, which along with adding visual interest, increases ceiling heights throughout the home’s open-plan living spaces and the master suite.

The home’s greatest qualities though lie in the mix of building materials that Ethan has applied, combining warm natural timbers and sections of stone-look cladding, with the precision and clean lines of Lysaght products including CUSTOM ORB® and LONGLINE 305® cladding, as well as SLATSCREEN® fencing and access gates.

“I wanted to achieve a country-style look through the use of traditional materials like timber and stone while at the same time giving the home a contemporary and modern identity by incorporating Lysaght steel products,” Ethan said.

“Living in Toowoomba it’s easy to draw inspiration from the early period properties but also, from the region’s many agricultural buildings, which widely use a corrugated steel profile.

“I’m pleased with the end result and would gladly live in this home.”

The Lysaght products have also been applied creatively to the project, installed both vertically and horizontally throughout, and combining the two complementary COLORBOND® steel colours of MONUMENT® and WINDSPRAY®.

Roofing is exclusively corrugated CUSTOM ORB® sheeting, with the material also being extensively used on the home’s north, west and south elevations in a horizontal manner. These large sections are interspersed with flashes of LONGLINE 305® cladding, while at the front of the home (east elevation) the roles are reversed – LONGLINE 305® cladding is applied vertically and features prominently, and CUSTOM ORB® sheets act as the highlight.

Ethan is currently working at a local design firm, StruXi Design, and is on track to complete his Diploma of Building Design course at the end of this year when he hopes to re-enter full-time employment in the industry.

“I love working in the design industry and can’t wait to further grow my career,” he said.

“I’m very thankful to StruXi Design for bringing me on board and also encouraging me to enter the Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards – the commendation will look great on my resume.

“The company is very supportive and nurturing of young talent and also offers work experience and placement straight from school, it’s great for the industry and helps develop careers.”

As well as receiving the LIDA commendation, Ethan has also recently won a Building Designers Association of Queensland Student Award.


Regular cleaning of COLORBOND® steel products in unwashed areas that are sheltered from rain washing (such as wall cladding under eaves) is required. BlueScope recommends washing should be done at least six monthly, or three monthly in locations such as coastal areas where marine salt spray is prevalent, or in areas where high levels of airborne dust/dirt or industrial fallout occur. For further information please refer to BlueScope Technical Bulletin 4 (TB4): Maintenance of exterior BlueScope coated steel products


Lysaght media release - March 2021
Ethan McMartin - Student at Skillstech TAFE, Queensland
Trademark Acknowledgements:
COLORBOND®, CUSTOM ORB® and LONGLINE 305® and ® colour names are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited, ABN 16 000 011 058.

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