The Cannons House Lobby and Façade refurbishment reinterprets and redefines a 1980s speculative office building into a contemporary participant in the urban conversation of the Flinders Lane precinct. As a regenerative project, the proposal introduces a new entry experience, reclads the existing concrete structure, remediates the existing car park entry and creates new bicycle parking facilities.
The striking foyer renovation explores the illusion of a monumental space larger than its physical size, emphasising the importance of the arrival experience, its contextual relationship and spatial environment.
The existing entry doors and glass foyer were removed to reveal a double height space and allow for the proposed entry to be setback to create a public forecourt. The lower façade and existing columns from the original building were reclad in polished granite tiles to reference the materiality of Harry Seidler’s Shell House across the street.
We chose to wrap the façade in bronze stainless steel and mirrored cladding for the same reason: in this way the building reflects and interacts with its neighbours and the unique urban condition of Flinders Lane.
“We didn’t want the facade to appear static. With the brass it continually changes throughout the day, depending on the direction of the sun. We considered this project as an opportunity to strengthen an important streetscape and respond to its history,”
— Astrid Jenkin, Director and project lead.
The extended granite bench with dark leather feature cushions and bronze mirror is also a reference to the ‘Paris-end’ retail stores in the parallel Collins Street.
The lobby interior attempts to create the illusion of a larger, more sumptuous experience, defying the constraints of its physical size.
The use of a selective material palette – planes of bronze mirror, aerated aluminium, illuminated ceiling and granite tiling – are employed to support these ambitions. It channels a nostalgic view of the 1960’s and 1970’s science fiction movies particularly scenes from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. The idea was to create an experience that is phenomenologically grander than the actual physical size.