This assignment was an exciting opportunity to breathe new life into an 18-year-old, three story building, with a complete refurbishment and extension of the existing construction. The primary project requirement was to upgrade services, finishes and facilities. The new works included the addition of a 6-metre-wide structure housing the entry lobby, with a lift and retail incorporated at street level, and recreation terraces at level-1. Two story high sunshades were installed on level 1 and 2, as well as the atrium, with thermosiphon walls. Interestingly, this design acts as a transition zone between the public and private places which literally breathe new life into the building. The ground floor car park was redesigned to house a workshop, storage facilities, recycling station, bicycle parking and rain water tanks. Ecologically sustainable development (ESD) concepts informed many of the design decisions. New construction products were applied along with innovative design solutions, to better manage water, energy, waste and recycling.
The visibility of sustainable features on this project was intentional to maximise community awareness. They included sun shade devices, an atrium thermosiphon wall, a ventilated heat pocket acting as a cooling device and solar panels. A sequence and pattern of inviting forms, sympathetic to people, makes a positive contribution to the public space. Elements of building function, services, existing fabric, sustainable concepts and the company identity have been uncovered and made legible.
The refurbishment of this building provides Ann St with a visually interesting design that stands out, providing the street scape with an interesting and impressive looking built form. The choice of natural stone, plywood, and timber materials set against metallic finishes, glass, and plasterboard, evoke an organic quality that appeals to people’s preference for natural settings.