The new head office for Peters Ice Cream, located in the Melbourne suburb of Mulgrave, makes the most of the existing landscape. It was also designed to achieve a minimum 4.5-star NABERS Energy Rating.
With the rear elevation featuring a drop of approximately five metres, architects Gray Puksand designed a one-storey building for 180 staff. The most striking feature is a butterfly-shaped roof that floats over the carpark.
“By using the existing topography, we lifted up the building to create a dramatic entry with the tilted butterfly roof and an [under-croft] carpark below the offices,” says Kelly Wellington, an associate at Gray Puksand.
The butterfly roof – which also acts as a signpost for those driving through the site – contains wide Alucobond eaves that form a bullnose edge. Its three-degree rake houses a centrally-located mechanical plant, which sits below the perimeter line. Above this is the core of the building; the home to all of the site’s amenities – such as glass-fronted office pods. A series of clerestory windows become a feature thanks to lofty ceiling heights, which range between 2700mm and 4200mm.
The Peters HQ includes a number of features that link back to the design of the original office and factory. These include the recognisable Peters sign (which is formed into a precast concrete retaining wall) and textured glass panels that present a subtle homage to the honeycomb-patterned façade of the original head office.
The new building takes additional inspiration from its natural surrounds. On the north side of the Peters offices, for instance, a collection of slender steel columns imitate a line of gum trees. Perforated, anodised metal screens are suspended between these columns, and are coloured to match the shades of the surrounding trees.
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