Pixel / studio505

© John Gollings

Architect: studio505
Location: ,
Photographs: Ben Hosking, John Gollings, studio505

   

© Ben Hosking

The Former CUB Brewery site is the location for one of Melbourne’s most significant and ambitious developments. Located at a key urban site, the project has been the subject of long discussion and speculation, culminating in the multi-faceted and multi-authored scheme now underway.

© Ben Hosking

Studio505 were approached by Grocon to design the Development Office (Pixel), the last building to be conceived on the site, and yet the first to be built. Pixel also claims the other two extremes, namely being the smallest building with the biggest expectations.

© Ben Hosking

The brief for Pixel was to provide a 6 Star Greenstar Carbon Neutral home for the Development team and Sales Offices, a display suite area and a green roof top viewing area, for the duration of the development’s construction and sales phase.

© Ben Hosking

Behind this very functional programme is the opportunity to enhance Grocon’s Greenstar Credentials, and provide a cost effective and exemplary building that reflects the standards Grocon will demand in the remaining projects on the site. studio505 have designed a very simple and coherent office building, which is woven together from a series of integrated environmental systems. With Umow Lai, studio505 have sought to deliver the ultimate ESD rateable performance within a coherent architectural product, worthy of the design aspiration of the overall site.

© studio 505

Pixel features one of the most sophisticated water treatment and utilisation systems ever to be built. The building was designed to be water balanced meaning that it if Melbourne maintains the ten year average rainfall levels from 1999-2009, Pixel will be self-sustainable for water supply. From the extensive native green roof collecting rainwater, to the creation of the perimeter planter’s balcony, Pixel is not simply a container to collect ESD ideas, but instead a laboratory and holistic tapestry of symbiotic systems. These include one of the most publicly visible elements, being Pixel’s facade. The facade is a system of perimeter planters, fixed shading louvers, double glazed window walls and solar panel shading. studio505 developed a complex yet simple patterning system to engender the project with a human scale ‘flow’ of textures allowing the reading of the various elevations, with their differing functional and ESD requirements and materials, to espouse coherency through fluidity.

details

studio505 have sought to ensure that Pixel engages with the low rise nature of the northern end of the Brewery site. Through the manipulation of scale, the facade, the shading and the patterning, the Pixel design seeks to embody and enable the vast urban phase change about to take place on this site over the coming years.

elevations

Pixel has achieved a perfect score of 100 under the Greenstar rating system, with 75 points the benchmark for 6 Star Greenstar. It gained an extra five points for innovation, equating to world leadership. Included in Pixel’s five innovation points were points for carbon neutrality, a vacuum toilet system, the anaerobic digestion system and reduced car parking. Pixel is also being assessed under the USA LEED and UK BREEAM rating systems, aiming to exceed the highest score yet achieved under either of those tools.

Pixel_019

Summary Statement

Located on a key urban site at the former CUB Brewery, Pixel is one of Melbourne’s most significant and ambitious projects. Scoring a perfect 105 Greenstar points, Pixel is Australia’s first carbon neutral office building, generating all its own power and water on site.

plans

The most publicly visible element is Pixel’s colourful facade. A system comprising of Living Edge perimeter planters, fixed shading louvers, double glazed window walls and solar panel shading. Creating a harmonious surface that wraps around all sides of the building, giving Pixel a vibrant and unique identity.

plans 2

Pixel is aiming to achieve the highest environmental rating ever for buildings using the US LEED, UK BREEAM and Australian Greenstar environmental rating schemes. To put that into context, there are approximately 740,000 buildings registered worldwide under those three rating schemes, and Pixel would be at the forefront of all of them.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Pixel / studio505" 14 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=190779>

4 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    great that they attempted to make it carbon neutral (i still don’t believe it though).

    but it’s not the prettiest building ever designed

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It’s a box with applied gimmicks. It is carbon natural when fully occupied and the anaerobic digesters are working. However the building has been vacant since completion and is occasionally used to sell solar panels and badly designed supposedly energy efficient products. Having studied the project for a university technologies subject and having walked through the building I give is 2 stars for design, 1 star for forward thinking, 9.5 stars for product placement. Sustainability YES, but this building is nothing more than a architectural catalog.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Sustainability using a fully aluminium covered facade?

    I mean, yeah, you can also have a full range of a tropical jungle somewhere to cover the environmental damage produced by the aluminium production but, does that makes a sustainable building?

    I really don´t think so. Maybe the time to re-think what carbon neutral means has arrived.

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