Victoria’s new home of architecture at 41 Exhibition Street was officially opened this week by Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Developed by the Australian Institute of Architects, 41X is a 21-storey Five Star Green Star strata-titled commercial tower that accommodates the Institute’s Melbourne offices, including the Victorian Chapter, over five levels. 41X is the first strata commercial office building in Melbourne to target carbon neutrality over its 30 year operating lifespan -accounting for embodied energy, base building operational energy, transport and waste.
Conceived as a hub for architecture, for Institute members and the public alike, 41X is the place for design enthusiasts to meet, with a design haven on level 1, complete with a comprehensive architecture and design bookshop (Architext) and a café run by Axil Coffee Roasters. In addition, the Institute is currently developing a program of public events focusing on architecture and design.
In 2008, the Institute held a two-stage design competition. The commission was awarded to Lyons Architects with a concept that explored ideas about the hybrid public/commercial building, the engagement of the Institute with the public and targeting a carbon-neutral outcome. In 2012, following a rigorous selection process, HASSELL was selected as architect for the fit-out of the five Institute-occupied levels. Paul Berkemeier, National President of the Institute said: “We are immensely proud of our new Melbourne home. It is an exemplary, small footprint, commercial building that shows how good design, sustainability and the work of architects can deliver outstanding results.”