The office space for Solaris explore what commercial office space within the industrial development sector can be.
It uses the key elements of passive commercial design to introduce a work environment to the industrial building sector more in tune with the workplace issues of today.
Energy, light, resources, air and view.
The building form is created as two lineal pavilions, formed by an expressed regular grid of laminated timber portal frames over-wrapped with a simple skillion roof/wall skin. The roof form projects past the building enclosure line to create a verandah, to offer solar protection to the building interior, and weather protection to the opening windows. It equally creates a space for the building users to enjoy – a connection with the surrounding new and existing landscape.
The modulised skin of the building is designed to maximise the light penetration to the internal spaces, balanced with minimising the thermal transmission. This informs a glass selection which gives the building a visual depth, allowing action and movement to be seen internally, and similarly a view out of the building as the sun sets. This assists in continuously informing the relationship between the building users and their surrounding environment.
The lower façade panels are enclosed with a metal panel spandrel, relating to a desk height internally. Manually operated top hung windows wrap around the facade. This simple passive solution, when combined with a manual AC control system (off unless you turn it on) allows the occupants to maximise the opportunity for natural ventilation to their workspace.
The high skillion roof form, reflected in the internal ceiling alignment maximises the opportunities to view the surrounding dramatic walls of the quarry from the interior. Suspended light fittings with a control system assure that only the appropriate LUX level of lighting is delivered to the working surface, and only when the spaces are occupied. Solar hot water booster systems are also fitted to the rear skillion roof.
The combination of these simple systems assist in minimising the energy use of the building.
Internal finishes have been chosen for their low embodied energy, low water use, low VOC composition and maximum recycling benefit.
The landscape treatment has a seamless connection with the architectural form. The building is approached by a slightly elevated concrete walkway, visually floating over a sea of stone boulders collected from around the site. The podium then wraps the building, with a profiled sliding edge to bed it to the ground.
This combined with a considered selection of grasses and trees responds to the same environmental principles used throughout the project.
The design principles being developed with this building are envisaged as being further refined and tested throughout the estate. The intent is that this process combined with the contextual response to each site, tenant requirements and the incorporation of further active and passive environmental systems will develop a language of built form whose slight variations and quirks creates a layer of expression and visual interest within an unifying design framework.