Donovan Hill's Santos Place is a commercial building which shakes off any cooperate stigma
The client approached Donovan Hill with a briefless potential project. Initial services were to yield a strategy to enable viability by bringing concepts and methodologies that would achieve ‘unasked-for' or ‘beyond-the-brief' elements that would add civic gravity; the introduction of a landlocked site to the city fabric, a 24 hour pedestrian laneway, a memorable identity and a richly contextualised façade.
The ground level has an evident user friendly character that heralds an alternative to gleaming soaring foyer spaces associated with an outdated corporate culture. Bicycle parking, boulder walls for sitting, timber seats and tables, landscape-like timber enclosure and dangling lanterns suggest that an alternative, personable gentleness might accompany big buildings.
With the city's vivid light, raffish character and fondness for its timber colonial houses it is suggested that a plush commercial office building in such a place might be exuberant, tactile and colorful. Heritage colors, shadow producing partial enclosures and ornamental effects that are derived from construction techniques are well precedented locally.
A big building can convey benefits to people by offering satisfaction at a number of scales and can afford to array fragments that are quite unlike. In this way the project is like a miniature of the city itself.