It’s a contemporary and inviting space for tenants to meet and linger, providing an extension of their workplace. With its modern, raw and honest aesthetic, the atrium and lobby refurbishment of 60 City Road by WMK Architecture more than meets this brief. What was a tired and outdated lobby, which had seen no improvement since its opening in the early 1990s, now provides an interactive and common ground for every tenant.
Thanks to its well-considered and practical design, once redundant spaces are now active and lively, and once dark and cavernous areas now warm and alluring.
The palette has a distinct Melbourne vibe, its raw and textured elements bringing light and warmth into the area’s three new zones: a triple height atrium, a double height entrance lobby and a deep lift core.
Working with the material selection of recently completed upper floor lobbies, and the expansive use of pink granite on the building’s base façade, WMK’s palette hits the mark, and offers the space a unique identity. Materials and tones celebrate the height of the lobby with, “Rich Blackbutt timber and dark Bluestone flooring grounding the bottom half of the lobby and light upper levels of white pitted plaster/render creating a subtle texture and elevating the height of the space,” says WMK. Blue and green hued lounge materials dotted throughout the space create a welcoming softness to the work spaces and meeting areas.
A sustainable approach to reuse and repurposing saw the atrium’s existing built form creating the footprint for raised podium meeting pods, outdated lighting features turned into contemporary fittings, and existing services cages transformed into useful work spaces using benches and lighting. Once dark lift lobbies are warm and bright thanks to new lighting and Blackbutt timber paneling.
Clever variations in the floor texture deliver subtle transitions from the tower’s entrance points throughout the lobby’s three new zones. Robertson’s Building Products’ Flame Grey Bluestone tiles, for instance, creating a clear demarcation between doorways, seated zones and waiting areas. And their warm, yet honest tones fit perfectly with the palette: “We love the honesty of a Bluestone and tonally it held as much character as the Blackbutt timber and render, without overpowering them,” WMK Architecture comments.
With its variety of space types and work settings, 60 City Road now offers user-friendly collaborative spaces that are filled and busy with tenants and their customers. WMK Architects is to be congratulated for designing such a modern and highly practical space with a lively, welcoming atmosphere.
Architects: WMK Architecture
Product: Flame Grey Bluestone tiles (230 x 76 x 10mm)
Developer: ARA Asset Management
Builder: MPA Constructions
Photographer Tatjana Plitt