studio505 fabricates the strand façade in melbourne CBD, australia
all images courtesy of studio505
custom fabricated glass fins form a sequential façade by studio505 that extends across lonsdale street, elizabeth street, little bourke street, and drivers lane. neighbored by the iconic GPO retail complex, the myer and david jones’ CBD flagship stores, and the emporium retail development; the brief sought a design solution that would enliven and enrich the existing public realm while creating and establishing a recognizable identity for the site and the city.
the façade extends across lonsdale street, elizabeth street, little bourke street, and drivers lane
fostering the firm’s fascination with geometry, color, and rhythm, the visible light spectrum is split into individual component hues that smoothly shift from red to deep violet and again, coloring bespoke vertical glass fins. the duality between object and void was tantamount as the system can be viewed not just as a sequence of actual fins but a sequence of ‘empty’ spaces between. the shade of each component effectively fills the interstices as light passes through it. the pure white backing wall behind the acts as a canvas, filled by highlighted shadows during the day, and illuminated at night by strips of white LED lights.
(left) view showing the glass fins
(right) colored light is projected to pathway below
studio505 designed the work to create a visual counteraction to the towering presence of the building above. the materiality and geometry employed endows the refurbished elevation with a rhythmic relationship to the converted office skyscraper. ‘this has developed a vertical cadence to counter the architecture’s horizontal bands, while providing a diametrically opposed explosion of unencumbered color against the rather banal black and white painted articulation of the contemporary façade spandrels above,’ say the designers.
the work contrasts the aesthetic of the tower above
they continue by stating that ‘the typical melbourne condition sees most pathways covered by an awning’. contrary to this, the strand has a clear glazed section of awning made of glass, pierced by the colored fins to connect the above and below, and to draw the rainbow of light onto the street surface and the pedestrians beneath. the edge of folded white satin aluminum simultaneously operates as a cover and a visual and spatial connection. considering the close-up experience of the project, and not only its appearance from a distance, has brought the human scale back to the precinct.
the edge of folded white satin aluminum simultaneously operates as a cover and a visual and spatial connection
each fine has a distinct shade
the surfaces are backlit by LED lights at night
the fins create a gradient of color
view from pathway to office tower above
detail of the construction