The Metcash Building, was purpose to provide a corporate building with a residential presence. Many of the ideas of relaxed work environments – proved to be external rather than work space freedom.
The conversion of the existing building intends to respect the essence that the original building was trying to achieve by modernizing, cleaning and freshening up the work environment. Natural light, healthier work spaces and access to views are paramount to “healthier design”. The project is designed from user needs out rather than cosmetics in.
Having said that,the buildings presents a 1970’s appeal and needs to be tuned to the longevity and corporate identity needs of the 21st century. Address value plays heavily on the psyche of the user and visitor. Specific attention has been given to creating the work factor where it pays the highest dividend for the user and owner. The sense of arrival and public areas set the tone of the entire organization.
The façades of the building need to be replaced in entirety. The aging timber window frames, striated plaster and exposed plumbing undermine the corporate identity of the building and need to be brought into abeyance with the updated national building regulations – sans 10400.
The building offers a number of exquisite design opportunities with internal courtyards – meeting niches and identity zones. Clean, structurally sound design resolution and simplicity of the execution in the new works will certainly add to medium to long term maintenance benefits, pigmented plaster finished, aluminium windows, new toilet cores and the provision of vertical circulation to allow the building full accessibility to differently abled personnel and visitors will be a paramount concern in the ultimate realization.
While grid energy solutions are options under consideration, these will be addressed in design development, to ensure the viability and cost effectiveness in the short term.