VicRoads office tower features colourful wrap-around cladding

Not just a pretty pattern – the dynamic shapes of the white pre-cast façade on this building were inspired by the look of a circuit board and also offer a cryptic nod to the naming tenant

Standing seven-levels tall, the new VicRoads building is architecture, commercial building, facade, VicRoads building, exterior
Standing seven-levels tall, the new VicRoads building is a strong, sculptural tower that leads the way for further redevelopments in Melbourne’s Sunshine district.

Adjacent to the Sunshine Railway Station, the seven-level building was designed by architects Gray Puksand for developer Crestwood Park. 

The VicRoads building stands tall as the first-comer in a retail strip that will provide the catalyst for the redevelopment of the entire precinct to a priority zone within the Melbourne metropolitan area, says Gray Puksand’s partner in charge Nik Tabain.

“Located on a critical axis and a prominent island site, the building was designed to be viewed from all sides. The dynamic shapes of the white pre-cast concrete façade were inspired by the continuous look of a circuit board and also provide a sense of flowing roads – a nod to the naming and principal tenant, VicRoads,” says Tabain.

With no available room for a podium, a architecture, building, design, facade, green, mixed-use, urban design, Gray Puksand
With no available room for a podium, a lifted corner ‘canopy’ brings street engagement for the VicRoads tower by architects Gray Puksand.

Plus, the façade flares out to the west and east of the building, creating a sense of openness and activity on these important pedestrian frontages.

While texture and form play an integral part in softening the impact of the building’s scale on the landscape, it was the significant eucalyptus tree in the adjacent carpark and the acknowledgement of gum trees that would have been in the area prior to Sunshine’s development as a residential and industrial precinct, that inspired the vibrant colours selected for the powdercoated sunshades.

“The tree’s sheer size and importance to the local community also meant the building had to be set back from the title line to protect its roots,” Tabain says. 

"This solution was key to enhancing a sense of arrival for staff and visitors, reinforces the notion of movement and robustness, and results in a more pedestrian-friendly environment generally.”

With no parking underground, most of the bottom two floors of the building is car parking. These levels are clad in a band of perforated grey mesh that naturally cross ventilate the spaces.

For the VicRoads fit-out, the perforated aluminium screens architecture, building, design, flooring, furniture, headquarters, interior design, lobby, VicRoads fit-out, aluminium screening
For the VicRoads fit-out, the perforated aluminium screens on the stair bannisters are continued on the upstairs balustrade.

With no room to mitigate the size of the building with a podium, the architects instead raised up the entry corner of the building as a welcoming canopy.

VicRoads has a retail store at ground level and occupy the two mid floors of the building. To activate the two levels of offices and avoid a separate culture developing between floors, a large staircase penetrates the floorplate.

“We designed the stair to loosely echo the forms on the exterior of the building,” says Tabain. 

“Perforated aluminium sheeting on the bannisters and upstairs surround provides privacy and an attractive shadow play.”

Besides its colourful cladding blades, the VicRoads building is green in another way, too. Natural cross ventilation, a wealth of bicycle parks and six shower facilities all add to its sustainable credentials, as does the rigorous sourcing of low VOC materials, finishes and furniture throughout.

Credit list

VicRoads building, Sunshine, Melbourne
Crestwood Park
Wall tiles
Hafele, Hettich, Astra Walker
Task chairs – Kronos highback from Balance Interiors; Tub chairs from Stylecraft; Relm stools; Zenith tables; Tambour cabinets by Planex; lecturns by Lecturn Australia; shelving by Dexion; Excel Lockers
Gray Puksand; partner in charge – Nik Tabain, project leader – John Pinkerton
Feature finish
Woodford Architectural
Shaw Contract, Classic Architectural
Kitchen appliances
Panasonic, Haier, Westinghouse
Pendant and feature lighting
About Space, Luxxbox
Zants Plants

Story by: Charles Moxham

Photography by: Tatjana Plitt

24 Jan, 2021

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