SG2 Design
FOOTSCRAY (FCAD) DEVELOPMENT. Melbourne, Australia, 2010.
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I was part of the project team while working at Hassell, for the design of a new 16-storey combined office and apartment building in Footscray. It was a joint-venture project done with two other leading architectural firms, who were each allocated a different building type and area of the site, to develop into an overall masterplan. The joint submission was the winning scheme.

The entire commercial development is connected via a communal shared basement carpark. The scheme incorporates 9-storeys of commercial office space on the lower levels and 7-storeys of mixed one to three bedroom apartments on the top levels, which maximise surrounding views of the city skyline. The concept of placing residential above commercial space is not a commonly used model in Australia, so in a sense this is an experimental development for the area.

Security was to be paramount for the office spaces as the tenants would primarily be judicial and government bodies. The ground floor includes a public cafe` to the north, which overlooks the parkland and attempts to encourage pedestrians to interact with the complex, public laneways cut throughout the site are also meant to encourage this. The perimeter of the ground floor is enclosed by a covered colonnade of giant concrete 'graffiti letters', which create a strong visual plynth of 'urban artwork' for the tower.

The floor plates of the commercial levels follow the outline of the site, but vary occasionally in footprint to articulate the facades. The residential levels are separated by a floor of plant room and are more scultural in form, to break-down what would otherwise be a massive block on a prominent corner site.

The proposed design follows ESD principles throughout, from rainwater harvesting to the inclusion of wind turbines for energy production. The north and west facades incorporate brise soleil or sunscreens, that vary in orientation according to the movement of the sun; the blades on the north facade are horizontal whereas the blades on the west facade are vertical, to maximise solar protection and screening. The corners of the first three levels are chamfered in order to reduce wind acceleration along the ground floor. Internal atriums are included at these corners on the office levels to animate the facades and provide some vertical movement from within.

©2014 Sebastiano Ghezzi

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