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The building is designed primarily as an environmental filter that allows occupants to work in ‘unplugged’ spaces that can be adjusted to personal levels of comfort. The environment is both interactive and informal, in contrast to the unresponsive and over-engineered enclosures of conventional offices, disconnected from their setting. The project at the 1-3 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery has been designed as an innovative, sustainable work environment that encourages sociability and low energy consumption to reduce CO2 emissions and global warming. It is located on Epsom Road, Rosebery, a noisy through road, at the southern edge of Green Square. The site is within easy walking distance of the Green Square Rail Station, established bus routes and shops along Botany Road. The surrounding industrial fabric is being transformed as part of the Green Square Urban Renewal Area. Cold, wet winds blow across the site from Botany Bay.

The building is designed as ‘part of’, rather than ‘apart from’ the micro-environment of Botany Bay at the southern edge of the Green Square Redevelopment Area. Its breathing spaces are designed to connect inside and outside in a continuum of temperature and air gradients, responsive to the daily climatic conditions. The complexity of the design derives from restraint and changeability, and not redundant features or superficial gestures.

The building form consists of a four storey, slender, L-shaped block, sited parallel to Epsom Road and the side streets of Dunning and Mentmore Avenues, and with a single lift core. The office component of the building presents as a floating box raised above ground level shops. Shops are accessed from an urban terrace that is benched above flood. waters, at the required ‘free board’ level. They have high ceilings and extensive glazing to give a transparent and accessible image to street level of the building. The shops are intended to be occupied by showrooms, providores, and a café opening to the entry lobby, courtyard and western terrace. Public domain improvements will be carried out on all street frontages.

The north elevation to Epsom Road is developed as a crate-like form, or ‘brise-soleil’, that contains individual breakout spaces, or balconies, to the offices. It is contrasted with the planar wall of the south elevation to the courtyard which consists of ribbons of fixed glass louvres and glass balustrades. The top storey conforms to Council’s attic controls for residential buildings, and is setback from the lower levels. The east and west elevations have been minimised to avoid heat gain. The north elevation is shaded by the horizontal slabs of balconies, supplemented by light shelves that also reduce glare. The openings to the west elevation are shaded by operable aluminium shutters.

The south facing communal access galleries to the courtyard and adjacent lobbies to levels 1 and 2 are breathing, permeable spaces that store cool fresh air for the offices and a pathway for the controlled natural cross flow ventilation. The galleries are screened by fixed glass louvres from southerly winds and rain.

The building makes efficient use of natural resources, energy and water throughout its full cycle, including construction. Energy efficient building response is developed through passive design and sun control elements. The building is characterised by exceptional and dynamic qualities of space, natural light, air flow and solar access to achieve high personal comfort and low energy consumption.


Type: Live / Work / Hybrid
Location: 1-3 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery, Sydney, Australia
Year: 2011-2015
Client: Epsom Property Group
Number storeys: 6
Site area: 2,295 sqm
Floor area: 3,742 sqm
Collaborators: 360 Degrees Landscape Architects
Digital imagery: Lucid Metal

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