The existing building at 27 Nugent Street posed a refreshing challenge and opportunity for the Jasmax design team. Facing a busy street, and with an otherwise undistinguished view, the two-storey building has been transformed into a refined workspace and flagship showroom for Apsect Furniture through the introduction of sculpture, and the articulation of the internal spaces.
The front elevation contained the only windows of the building providing natural light into the 25m long interior; which resulted in the need for particular focus on the design of the frontage, as well as a consideration for screening road noise. The result is a highly distinctive facade design which unifies the building, transforming the existing structure and perception of the building, into a single form; adding a strong new urban and sculptural presence to Nugent Street.
Based on synthesising screening, outlook, sunshading requirements, and the capture of diffuse natural light, a branching diagonal pattern was adopted for this front elevation. The design team used the universally defined Voronoi Tessellation algorithm to pack a clustered series of polygon ‘cells’ into the rectilinear front elevation, which eventually became the openings in the facade.
The size and position of the cells were manipulated according to spacing of central nodes to each cell.The distribution combined with the scooping effect of each armature allows the interior spaces to enjoy shading from the mid-morning sun while also reflecting natural light deep into the building.
The geometry has a biomorphic association suggesting a dynamic variety of possibilities based in nature, and hints at a connection to new technology and production techniques. Structurally the Voronoi screen adds bracing to the front of the building in addition to the existing block wall construction.
The bold scale of the structure separates the office space from the busy street while also creating a new outlook from the building, through the varied and unique composition of large apertures. Within, rearranging the internal circulation of the floorplate was needed to adapt the building to its new use, to optimise the layout, and create an enriched environment befitting a flagship showroom.