Building ProfileName : KPMG House
LocationAddress: 161 Collins Street
Construction DetailsBuilt: 1991
Original use: Office
Current use: Office
number of floors : 11
Built in the Nineties period in the Post-Modern style
KPMG House at 161 Collins Street is an example of how difficult and risky sites can be managed and turned into profitable assets by virtue of good urban and architectural design principles. KPMG, as the first long-term tenant, opted for retrofit and new construction within the established height envelopes rather than a new high-rise building.
The developers had to accommodate the historical T&G Insurance building, resulting in the largest facade retention project on the southern hemisphere. They also decided to restore a non-listed historical structure to the rear of the property, and acquire and visually express the air rights above the Melbourne City electric sub-station.
The atrium is well-connected to the surrounding streets and functions as their extension, creating a through-block link. Solar-tracking reflectors illuminate the interior. The atrium-centred doughnut shape of the large floor plates allowed KPMG to match spatial setting to corporate organisation. It made it possible for the old T&G structure to retain its original footprint, avoiding the pitfalls of facadism: the retention of a thin veneer of old fabric glued to an all-new internal system. Overall, the development is a fine example of linking past to future, and while studiously respecting the existing fabric, the new elements by no means pander to history.
The new facade features stunning post-modern elements with a refreshing use of ornament including metal spikes and balconies, square windows, a polished stone clad facade, heavy use of colour and a columnaded entrance and awning feature more infitting with the neighbouring Auditorium building.
HistoryArchitect: Metier 3
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