Notions of clarity, communication and context were primary generators of the Clear Centre’s form and architectural language. The overall form is reduced to a simple curved floorplate in response to its prominent corner site. A highly transparent external skin stretches over the frame deliberately exploited to reveal the structure and function of the interior.
The project, effectively an office tower arranged horizontally, was constructed in two stages, consisting of two curved wings connected by a 20m high glazed central atrium. Individual floor plates of 3,000m² were arranged over six storeys to give a total gross floor area of some 18,000m².
The main entrance to the building is positioned at the centre of the northwest-facing interior of the curve, under a stainless steel-clad, cantilevered porch projecting 12m out from the external skin. The central circulation atrium, the building’s anchoring design feature, is revealed on entry, and remains breathtaking in its scale and dramatic effect.
The atrium void is naturally lit by full-height bays of tempered glass on both sides, offering extensive views of the surrounding site. Four steel-framed, glass-sided bridges suspended within the space connect the ends of the building horizontally, while projecting return staircases link the bridges vertically. The atrium’s structurally glazed walls are braced against the wind by tall, mast-like trusses. Calliper-like floor-to-ceiling rods located behind the mullions, and suspended from the roof structure, support the gravity loads of the glass walls. Circular recessed floor lighting illuminates the perimeter of the tall interior space at night.
Separating the foyer from the floor of the atrium is a free-standing, curved reception station. A rectangular raised pond and fountain to the left of the reception acts as a security measure, dividing the entry lobby from the atrium. This in turn is echoed by a larger pond and fountain forming the plaza outside the glassline. A large cafeteria with floor-to-ceiling windows occupies the western side of the building and opens onto a sunny terrace. Workstations above are arranged along the perimeter of the floors, where light and space are maximised, and energy use consequently minimised. Working areas at the interior of the floorplate are allocated to management and meetings, a reversal of the usual corporate arrangement.
Principal and Executive Director
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