Inner space

Tuesday 15 Nov 2011

D'Ambrosio's Atrium combines high-class offices & retail under one roof

Developed on a one acre site located downtown, the Atrium comprises approximately 20,000 sq m of class-A office and retail space in 7-storeys and addresses the challenge: how can a speculatively-built office building help revitalise a moribund area and enrich the community at large? 

Occupying the length of a city block, the Atrium actively engages its civic context. To complement Victoria's historical downtown, and to reintegrate the block into the urban fabric, the building takes a mid-rise form, built to the street walls to give definition to the public realm. The building's palette of natural, durable materials invests the district with a welcome sense of commitment.

A transparent ground floor, housing cafes and restaurants, invites people to approach, look in and stay a while. Rain gardens edge the site, a first for a private development in Victoria, catching and cleaning polluted street run-off, and softening the cityscape. The building is organised around the seven-storey wood-clad interior atrium, which introduces daylight into the heart of the structure. The wood, visible from the street night and day through a full-height glass wall at the atrium's south end, distinguishes the building and invites the public to animate this urban room.

Community groups have taken up the invitation, using the atrium to host such events as an opera performance and a film festival reception. In addition to this celebration of the public life of the City the building demonstrates substantial commitment to the principles of sustainable design and construction, including stormwater management, water and energy efficiency, access to daylight and views, indoor environmental quality and waste-management.

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