The Urban Workshop derives its name from its urban setting and the cooperative ethos of the new workplace. The site is near several of Melbourne’s important public institutions, State Parliament, the State Library, Melbourne Museum and the Old Treasury Building and State and Federal Government Offices. Located between two existing commercial towers, the floorplate is long and narrow, twisting around to garner views in front and behind its columnar, centralised neighbours.
The Urban Workshop
This landmark commercial building revitalises almost an entire city block. As a creative collaboration with ISPT it combines an innovative workplace environment, civic heritage and vibrant retail precinct.
In the 19th century the site was divided by narrow laneways and streets. This pattern became our reference point for designing the ground level. We reinstated the pathway of the original Little Leichardt Street to function as the commercial foyer for the 34-storey commercial tower above.
The main eastern tower facade is an essay on layers, transparency and the grid. This layered facade overlays a hierarchy of three different window framing systems – fat oversized cover plates, fins with protruding blades that create shadow play and thin with a single line of silicon separating the glass panes.
- Traditional Custodians of the land Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people
- Client ISPT Pty Ltd
- Collaborators A joint venture project between Wardle, Hassell and NH Architecture
- Location Melbourne, Victoria
- Procurement Invitation
- Project Duration 2004 – 2006
- Floor Levels 34, Podium (ground + 4 levels), 5 basement levels
- Floor Area 63,500 sqm
- Team John Wardle, Paul Katsieris, Stefan Mee, Andrew Wong, Paul Evans, Andy Gentry, TJohn Wardle, Paul Katsieris, Stefan Mee, Andrew Wong, Paul Evans, Andy Gentry, Tim Walpole-Walsh, Fiona Dunin, Anna Muller, Derek Hawkes, Sandy Abrahams, Tony Antoniou, Ben Albury, Kevin Begg, Phil Bowen, Bernadette Cahill, Paul Conrad, Bob Gant, Sebastian Giacchi, Adam Hannon, Toby Horrocks, Minh Huynh, Michael Hyrsomallis, Emma Jackson, Claudia Monazewski, Luciano Palma, Oscar Paolone, Bronwyn Pratt, Ben Puddy, Grant Roberts, Wayne Sanderson, Antonietta Sofia, Ben Smart, Elliet Spring, Toofan
- Selected Awards
- Sir Osborn McCutcheon Commercial Architecture Award, RAIA Victoria 2006
- Marion Mahony Interior Architecture Award, RAIA Victoria 2006
- Urban Design Award, RAIA Victoria 2006
- Melbourne Prize, RAIA Victoria 2006
With its kinks and folds, the building hovers above a collection of small scale historical buildings, and gently works itself in the urban context ... The commercial high-rise foyer is a type that has been rarely explored as successfully as in this project.
Jury Citation – Melbourne Prize, RAIA