The repositioning of the lobby of 67 Albert Avenue came on the back of a change of owner, the existing 1980's building was almost fully leased and the desire to change the lobby came from a keen eye to the future market rather than a pressing leasing need. Corval wanted a lobby that lifted the perception of the building and signalled the quality of focus the new owner offered to the building and its tenants. The design sought to update the visual aesthetic of the lobby, increase the amount of natural light into the upper level and creating a place to dwell. As such, amenity was considered as a pleasant place to get a coffee and simply be rather than additional services or offerings within the space. The existing building is quite striking if dated so the lobby sought to provide a contemporary expression and atmosphere to signal its presence on the cityscape.
The design is deliberately simple in terms of physical moves taking a curatorial approach to the existing building which sought to clean up the forms of the lobby, remove visual barriers, integrate the coffee offer and allow the ceiling to be the dominant aesthetic. This last intervention sought to create a visual expression that united the lobby across both levels and gave an undulating plane onto which the lighting could shine. By so doing the major complaint about the original lobby, the fact that it felt dark, was removed and in its place was a moment of delight and whimsy. The upper level has been paired back to a rectilinear form maximising the double height space to the street and connecting the two levels of the lobby through the undulating ceiling. The ceiling lighting system allows for an evolving read of the space during the day when the individually addressable lights move slowly and in the evening when the space is predominantly empty the lighting moves at a faster pace drawing attention to itself from both the street and the train line that sits across the garden of remembrance.
The concept idea for this lobby came out from the double high nature of the space. The ceiling is quite visible from its surroundings in particularly from Albert Avenue and we thought there was an opportunity to transform it in a sculptural surface animated with light. A series of white blades at 250mm centres run perpendicular to the lift core. They all start flush with the tower soffit and undulate across the lobby to accommodate the existing services. The curves get deeper over the double high spaces and run down the walls of the lower ground lobby connecting the two spaces together. The ceiling was modelled using Rihno and a series of studies where performed to maximise the spacing of the blades without loosing the integrity of the design. The 3D modelling allowed also determine the exact the number of different profiles and how to reduce wastage of material.The end result is a powerful design that provides a sculptural aspect to the lobby gives a sense of movement and creates a new identity for the building.
The ceiling lighting system allows for an evolving read of the space during the day when the individually addressable lights “move” slowly to highlight the ceiling plane. In the evening when the space is predominantly empty the lighting “moves” at a faster pace drawing attention to its undulating form from both the street and the train line that sits across the garden of remembrance. Lighting works seamlessly with the architecture to create a unique personality for the lobby. The design plays with light and shade on the vertical fin surfaces in conjunction with dynamic lighting control to shape the user experience and activate the space.