The Australian architectural practice McBride Charles Ryan realised this sculptural office building in the pedestrian area at the East end of Melbourne’s CBD (Central Business District).
“Dominant in the lane is the historic Melbourne Club wall and the gigantic plane trees emanating from the Melbourne Club Garden which arch over the diminutive lane. The site with dimensions of 6.1 m in width and 17m in depth and a foot print of 102.5 sqm is a postage stamp.
Our brief was to provide a ground level entry and café, followed by two levels of office tailored for the Proprietors Investment and Philanthropic Organisation. The top level contains a small reception area primarily for official functions associated with the client’s role as Honorary Consular of Monaco.”
“The process of the Aggregation of the Melbourne’s allotments is now almost universally seen as a process which diminishes urban quality and diversity. There is now an earnest attempt, even in large block developments, to reintroduce fine grain urbanism that has been lost to the city. This project is rare; despite renewed respect of fine grain urbanism there are few willing to make the significant investment that this type of building entails.
This was this client’s first foray into what may be considered contemporary architecture. Despite this inexperience, our client had a love of the design of cars, boats (particularly early 20C) and finely crafted objects. He bemoaned the loss of shape in the contemporary world. It was in the area of shape, craft and material that the architect and client found our common ground.”