Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2012 Contents WA’s Best Commercial Building & Design 2012 263
atthews Architecture was asked to
create a unique, design-orientated
venue within the Perth CBD, while
retaining the existing building and
many of its original features.
The project used a series of contemporary-style
insertions that were respectful of the original
building. Matthews Architecture discovered the
opportunity to feed off the large commercial
development behind the project, while activating
the laneway directly behind the building.
The project was tight in terms of budget and
the physical constraints of the existing building.
Universal access into the majority of the building
and fire safety systems needed to be designed.
To address the access issue, a large portion of the
existing floor at ground level was removed and
dropped 600mm to match street level. This allowed
access into the majority of the ground floor,
including the bar/cafe and toilet areas.
An accessible ramp was utilised in the shop,
which runs parallel to the main entry corridor to
access the raised (original level) of the retail space.
This also works to provide more ‘theatre’ to the act
of shopping. As customers traverse the ramp, the
journey into the shop is drawn out along the new
window display area.
The dropping of the floor level created a view
into the basement, which houses the artist-in-
residence studios. Views into other uses and spaces
within the building were exploited to emphasise
the nature of the mixed-use environment.
A great deal of the existing building fabric was
retained and in parts completely restored. Items
such as brickwork and existing painted walls were
left unfinished, reflecting their condition when the
building was starting its new life.
The client and builder worked hard to source
original building material where possible, such as
recycled bricks and floorboards. Glass plays a large
role in defining the retail space, and a custom-
designed glazing system of steel integrates the
new shopfront with the necessary steel structure
required to support both the new floor of concrete
and the existing timber floor.
Matthews Architecture was engaged to design
and document the entire project, which was
constructed by Matera Constructions. In the late
stages of the fitout, Geyer provided the design of
the shop cabinetwork and assisted in other parts of
the project, including the bar area and office.
VENN | Matthews Architecture MIXED USE
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