Housing and Office Building in Brunswick
The design was largely influenced by the surrounding development and the form of the site, which consists of two residual triangular plots, resulting from a diagonal alignment of the adjoining road in the 1960s. The main element of the scheme is a narrow three-storey strip that follows the line of the road and closes off the street block along this edge. Broad balconies provide a visual extension of this structure at the north-west corner and above the entrance ramp at the south-east end. A transparent tract was added to the main strip to form a triangular development that reflects the shape of the site. On the ground and lower floor levels are the architects’ offices. The two upper storeys accommodate maisonette dwellings, with living areas on the first floor and bedrooms on the second floor. The low height of the development meant that the steel skeleton frame could be left visible with only a 30-min. fire-resisting coating. The solid basement structure has a 90-minute fire resistance. The soffits of the ribbed sheet steel and concrete composite floors were also left exposed, with installation elements and space dividers suspended from the hollow channels. The balconies were designed to ensure maximum transparency. They consist of metal gratings, and balustrades filled only with horizontally spanned stainless-steel cables. To obtain permission for this form of construction in the dwelling areas, it was necessary to set back the handrails to prevent the use of the cables as ladders to climb up.