Zhen : Norwest

Most office blocks conform to the conventional model: deep-planned and air-conditioned, with a central service core and identical, spatially separate office floors. These are then subdivided into the maximum number of office spaces, with minimal care or response to the building, the site and the context.

Zhen: norwest is different. It is flooded with daylight and allows for natural ventilation to all spaces: It has a full height open central courtyard space, and every individual office or work space has a clear view of the outside world.

Boldness of form has been combined with architectural inventiveness and engineering expertise to create a new building type: the humane and socially responsible office park development.

As the name implies, zhen: norwest has been designed to create an optimum building user environment. The built form has been split into six individual cells per floor. These cells are grouped into two sets of three separated by an open garden space. This garden space becomes the spine to the development, acting as the main circulation and green zone to the development.

The cells are further split by the open-air breezeways running perpendicular and through the office strata sets. These breezeways act as the major circulation zones through the building, accessed by individual access/fire stairs and elevators. The positioning of the breezeways and their open design maximises the potential for cross ventilation through the development and across the internal office spaces.

Each of the building façades has been individually modeled to respond to the desired internal environments, with extensive use of sun shadowing devices such as vertical fins, deeply recessed balconies and horizontal screening.

The majority of tenancies have operable façade areas, allowing for mixed mode ventilation systems, maximising the potential for natural ventilation. This solution actively informs the aesthetic of the facades facing the internal circulation zone, and the rear elevation.

The location and design of the carpark has created the opportunity to maximize the deep soil planting zones to the street elevations of the building and the central courtyard zone. The elevation and design of the carpark facades allows the carpark building to be naturally ventilated.

The landscape design has been carefully crafted to continue the design intent from the internal to the external environment. Spaces have been designed to define entrance and circulation, whilst still providing opportunities for private and breakout spaces. The street planting reinforces the design intent, providing a striking visual frontage to the built form foreground.

The building has created a striking addition to the Lexington Drive precinct of norwest business park, setting new and higher standards in architectural design and the design of complete building environments– designed for the users of today and tomorrow.