Challenging convention

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Unexpected architectural elements distinguish this warehouse from other buildings in its industrial neighbourhood
Cantilevered administrative offices transform the front facade of architecture, building, cloud, commercial building, corporate headquarters, facade, headquarters, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, sky, blue
Cantilevered administrative offices transform the front facade of this warehouse from something typical to a dramatic and eye-catching piece of architecture.

Often, the difference between a fairly standard building and something that is quite unconventional is found in the smaller details.

When architect Albert Mo of Architects EAT was asked to design a 2500m² warehouse for imported canned food, he looked to create not just a functional space, but a structure with architectural merit.

"We wanted to design a building that would be easily recognisable as a typical warehouse by delivery truck drivers and others visiting it. But at the same time, we also wanted to create a building that was interesting and unconventional," he says.


Materials such as textured concrete and mirrored panels architecture, building, door, facade, house, line, wall, window, wood, orange
Materials such as textured concrete and mirrored panels add to the unconventional style of the building.

From the front, the building reads as a conventional box and it is easily understood as a storage facility, with loading portals and administrative components.

However, Architects EAT added a few subtle details that enhance the building's appearance. Textured concrete panels, for example, used to clad the building's main street facade, have a rough, yet linear serration and appear to have been hewn from a single mass.

"As well as looking strong, the slabs reference the numerous stone quarries in the immediate area, and the vertical corrugated cladding patterns of nearby industrial facilities," says the architect.

Cantilevered administrative offices transform the front facade of architecture, building, cloud, commercial building, corporate headquarters, facade, headquarters, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, sky, blue
Cantilevered administrative offices transform the front facade of this warehouse from something typical to a dramatic and eye-catching piece of architecture.

Another unexpected element is the cantilevered box containing the administrative offices, which extends four metres out from the front facade, providing sheltered areas for the visitors' entry and outdoor seating.

"We saw this as a dramatic gesture for a conventional building," the architect says.

Warped and mirrored stainless steel panels clad this cantilevered component. The mirrored finish reflects the sky, extends the textures of the concrete panels and refracts light patterns back onto them, giving what could be a monotonous warehouse a complex and ever-changing appearance.

Dec 18, 2007
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