9 Cremorne St is built on the land of the Wurundjeri, situated on a tight city fringe site with a historically significant early Edwardian factory. Our new addition is an office building designed for Australian conditions. A building that dynamically responds to the changing environment while dealing sensitively with the existing heritage fabric. The building plays the role of a corner bookend, marking the gateway to the Cremorne precinct.
Our formal approach was an exercise in contrast between the heritage base and the upper form, where the tactility and warmth of the existing brickwork is differentiated with the formally strong rectangular volume above. This is set back from the more architecturally significant existing Western facade, and nestled closely behind the more simply detailed existing Northern facade. The new addition is wrapped in expanded metal screens which change throughout the day to give an ephemeral effect – a shifting curtain backdrop to the heritage experience at street level. The corner of the building is emphasised at the upper levels with the insertion of a terrace and a mature olive tree. Here the mesh screens create a permeable veil and hint at the activities within whilst maintaining the pure platonic geometry.
The mesh screens form part of a double skin facade, providing protection from the harsh Northern and Western sun. The angle of the expanded metal creates a series of micro sunshades while still allowing views through. The inner skin of slab-to-slab glazing forms the building’s weatherproofing and contains louvres for natural ventilation. This arrangement allows for a high degree of customisation, whereby individuals can control access to sunlight, natural ventilation, views, glare and temperature to suit the specific zone in which they are working.
In addition to the operable façade, this project achieves a 5 Star Greenstar rating together with urban and social sustainability measures. Car parking numbers were reduced from statutory requirements by 78% and e-charging facilities within the fully automated car stacker are provided to support low-emission vehicles, alongside end-of-trip facilities to promote active transport methods and reduce greenhouse emissions. Comprehensive digital displays of water and energy use are provided for each office tenancy which produce monthly reports on consumption trends. Solar photovoltaic panels on the roof contribute to the operation of the external screens and common area energy demands. Additional landscape zones are provided to three terraces, creating green space in an area deficient of local outdoor amenity, with water storage and filtration on site.