171 La Trobe Street
Small in floor plate but significant in stature, this boutique building of 10 office levels and two residential levels successfully established mixed-use as an acceptable typology within the Melbourne CBD.
Its distinctive façade reads as two equally apportioned vertical masses. One, of curtain-walled glazing, is of aesthetic intention. The other, a counterpoint of sheer stone with rectangular glazed openings, shares structural responsibilities with the building’s concrete core, which is situated to the rear.
The building rises uniformly from the catenary form of its entrance hall canopy, before celebrating the residential component with flamboyant embellishments on three sides. Sculptural and practical in equal measure, they contain operable glass screens that respond automatically to the sun’s path.
Double storey and complete with terrace balconies and rooftop gardens, the apartments are interlocked to maximise view opportunities in all directions.
Exquisitely detailed with references typical of a privileged residential environment, they presaged the rich possibilities of city living: its excitement and visual stimulation.
171 La Trobe Street is also one of our first designs to incorporate public art: a 95-panel glass wall by Joseph Licciardi. Conceived as a means to calm the entry lobby, it diffuses the sounds and activity of the street outside without severing the building’s ground level connection.