Sited on a prominent corner in Melbourne’s financial district, the lobby was due for a renovation on the ground level. Despite being located on a main thoroughfare, it lacked relevance and appeal compared to nearby, prominent buildings. To accentuate its street presence, Woods Bagot designed several interventions at the podium level—the foremost being a clear and consistent architectural language.
Drawing upon the original rectilinear forms of the existing building, the newly integrated canopy over the main, Collins Street-facing entrance and retail façade now displays a woven geometric pattern. Comprised of glass and steel, the centralized awning extends beyond the building’s perimeter by three meters to provide weather protection. The exterior’s vertical glazing treatment is broken up by horizontal bands to reduce the height and scale of the street frontages – an effect which helps to attract potential shoppers with window displays in both the commercial lobby and the exterior.
Articulated by steel frames, the Flinders Lane retail frontage is a collection of two volumes at varying heights with an accompanying exterior staircase to access the upper level and terrace. Previously, this area included a concrete balustrade that has now been replaced by glass to further the site’s transparency.
The Melbourne Grid—the collection of streets that forms the central business district—has been translated into the bluestone floor tile pattern within the lobby. The space’s walls are covered in large timber panels to bring a warmth to the interiors while bronze and stainless steel help to maintain its sophisticated atmosphere. The concierge desk is primarily made of a chunky volume of limestone and is complemented by more timber paneling to enhance visibility and pedestrian flow. Natural lighting permeates the inside through ceiling-level windows which are reflected by bespoke pendant mobiles. Woods Bagot also designed the business lounge, which includes long tables and leather couches, where employees and guests can enjoy a communal working space that encourages collaboration.