Innovative construction ‘New York’ style office exterior

The redevelopment of the Riverview House building at 276 Flinders Street has been ongoing since 2001. Originally built for Commonwealth Bank in 1967, the building has seen several revisions, transforming its podium levels into retail, fitness and childcare spaces, with a revitalised ground floor now transformed into a modern precinct of food and retail outlets.

With the client looking to further rejuvenate the site, the architects proposed an additional five-storey tower over the existing podium level.

Design response

Innovative construction ‘New York’ style office exterior corner

Taking into account the load and connection limitations of the existing structure, the design team proposed a lightweight structural solution for the new tower. Essentially, the structure was designed to sit above the existing podium with linkages to the original tower, eliminating the need for an additional stair and lift core.

Innovative construction ‘New York’ style office detail

“The new office is connected to the existing tower at each level, resulting in larger than expected floor-to-ceiling heights,” explains Murray Brassington, partner – commercial at Baldasso Cortese.

“There is a ‘New York’ feel about the space as a consequence of the extra height and perimeter floor-to-ceiling windows.”

The structure’s innovative construction system comprises cross-laminated timber panels spanning between steel floor framing located over the existing column grid, in an effort to minimise work to the existing structure.

Innovative construction ‘New York’ style office engineered timber

The cube-like facade incorporates an external lightweight grid, with elements designed to harness and control sunlight through the use of low E glass. Combined with rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation, this allowed the building to achieve a 5-Star Green Star design solution.

“We are delighted to complete this highly sustainable office project,” says Graham Cottam, regional managing director at Multiplex.

“We almost cut traditional construction time in half – before we had the steel framing completed for a floor, service trades were following in behind.

“In a traditional build, we would need to wait for the reinforced concrete to fully set up and strip the formwork supports before the service trades would be able to start work on that floor. What would have taken us at least 18 months to build took us less than 12.”