Mindful of the neighborhood’s mixed architectural heritage, this renovation to the commercial tower podium introduces a sleek aesthetic to inspire tech industry professionals slated to inhabit it. The four-story glass façade and double-story atrium invite the outside in, creating a hive of activity that embraces an integration between work, life and the city. A far cry from cold, sparse lobbies, the entry features a unique ground-floor venue, where the workplace and local community can converge in various co-working spaces with a range of flexible seating options as well as a café. Blurring boundaries between on- and off-duty, the project offers a mixture of tertiary areas becoming a natural extension of the office floors above.
As an initial introduction to the building, the entry façade strikes a balance between contemporary polish and unpretentiousness. Illuminated U-channel glass with fritted patterns encases the exterior and travels into the rounded atrium. While the translucence of the exterior hints at the void, it isn’t until the visitor is inside that they fully experience the expanse of this intervention. To bring continuity, the verticality of the glass panels—which are installed in reverse order from the outside—are repeated throughout the interiors of the curvilinear form. This swap of the flanges also allows illumination of the frit on the whole length, giving the void lightness and significance. The contrast of patterned and clear panels gives the façade dimension and a moth-to-flame-like glow while balancing between the locale’s high modern and historic design languages.
The urban look and feel of the interiors are enhanced by simple, authentic materials. A palette of glass, blackened steel, terrazzo and blackbutt timber—a native Australian hardwood species—runs throughout the space to link back to the precinct’s industrial character. Solid blackbutt battens cover the ground floor lobby walls that are imbued with natural hues ranging from golden yellow to pale brown to further its welcoming ambiance.
The King Street retail tenancies, in reference to industrial warehouses, are shaped by black steel frames. Conceived as angled alcoves, they are positioned to maximize display opportunities and accessibility. Like the Kent street glass façade, the continuous steel profile turns and transitions from the front to the shop interior, leading pedestrians in.
Situated amid a network of bike paths, the project is ideal for cyclists, who will have access to secure bike parking and a fully equipped workbench for any last-minute repairs. End of trip facilities will feature exposed ceilings, sleek contemporary design and secure lockers.