office development


competition 2009

(honorable mention)

This Business Centre development curves in plan to reflect the sweep of a river to the east and the dynamic welcoming gesture forming the entrance at the west.  Businessmen and women enter at the energetic focal node of the building from which an atrium and all suites of accommodation open expansively out towards the landscape. A reception lobby terrace and viewing terrace above overlook the dramatic river valley setting.  Palm gardens rise out of washed riverbed stones, standing elegantly straight against the natural curving forms of the façade.

Floor slabs span between a structural diagrid, which wraps the entire outer façade, and the various service and stair cores above ground. The above ground loads are carried down through a retained basement box on columns and the cores to piled foundations.

The building harvests rainwater at the roof, used both for greywater sanitary and irrigation systems, as well as reflective insulation to protect the building from overheating.  Groundwater from boreholes, and the river itself, is used to cool the air in an external buffer stack between inner and outer glazing.  Additional protection is offered by integral sliding solar shades moving within the central facade zone, that afford the opportunity to carry ever-changing brand images, using LED technologies, applied to the pattern of the moving screens. The roof offers the option to integrate solar or photovoltaic panels to shade to the waterscape and generate further energy.

The overall sculptural form optimises plan depth and perimeter possibilities of controlling natural daylight and ventilation across the floors. It has below grade car parking, plant rooms and a main equipment room, which acts as the nerve centre for intelligent building infrastructure. Natural systems can be supplemented by air conditioning when necessary, with local control VAV units sitting within the floor zones.

The Business Centre grows organically out of the landscape contours, clearly projecting an exemplary image of environmentally conscious and sustainable working environments for the 21st century.