New commercial tower entrance, lobby and lifestyle focused amenities
The Sydney CBD has undergone a resurgence of commercial activity resulting in an increased offering of new Premium and A-Grade office towers. This has put the spotlight on existing building stock and their ability to compete in a strong market, respond to global climate impacts, offer an appropriate urban response and connect with the public domain.
Other influences such as advances in workplace practices, technological advances in networking and building services, improved wellness standards, tenant cultural shifts and a customer experience focus has evolved into what we now term Building Repositioning.
135 King Street is a prime example of such a repositioning. Located on a key east – west CBD axis at the threshold that defines the commercial and retail precincts, it has the opportunity to reconnect with the public domain and its contextual history, whilst providing its tenants a premium lobby and third space.
The proposed design forms the centerpiece of the entire street elevation through a rhythmic play of materiality, combining an interpretation of history and modernity, with Sandstone celebrated as the hero material. A portal frame element acts as the primary organising piece and first layer of a hierarchically layered sandstone façade concept that is commensurate with the scale and proportion of the existing street building rhythm. This sandstone element is presented as a vertically scalloped form and pays homage to the contextual heritage that aligns the street.
There is also a referential nod to the modernist and brutalist form of the ever-enduring MLC centre directly across the way, via organically carved sandstone beams that form the secondary façade layer, and integrate with the existing structure and street datum lines.
Polished concrete vertical blades breakdown the façade into a proportion and scale that speaks to the fenestration detail of the adjacent heritage facades and forms the final layer of the elevational composition.
Bronze materiality used externally also transitions internally via vertically proportioned panelling that gently transforms into a large digital screen.
This “ribbon” feature accentuates the lobby’s height and provides an opportunity for a playful kinetic expression and interaction, and from the outside, provides a glimpse of the internal mood of the lobby.
The Sandstone hero materiality continues internally and forms a connection to the external architecture with its sweeping gestures defining the volumetric drama of the lobby and guides occupants to the lift cores beyond. To one side, a café offering morphs from the sandstone gesture in an organic plan form and provides an intimate setting for activation and human connection.
The strong proportion and scale defined by the elevational composition of the built form combined with the warm textures and layering of the external and internal materiality will enhance both the day and night condition, culminating in a reinvigorated presence for 135 King street.