South Melbourne, Victoria
Designed by Wood Marsh Architecture, Piccolo House is a new headquarters and benchmark development by Piccolo. The collaborative relationship established between architect and developer represents their mutual respect and shared philosophies - quality, boldness and refinement.
Emerging from its heritage legacy below, Piccolo House is spurred by its contextual considerations. Sheathed in an ordered monolith of off-form concrete, precision cut-outs are subtly angled to reveal coloured reflective glass elements that reinterpret the autumnal tones of the brickwork in the neighbouring laneway. Akin to a block of stone being carved into, the mass references the lintel as a symbol of strength providing the structural framework for the building.
As one multi-use building, the development encompasses retail, hospitality, commercial and luxury multi-residential into one unified concept. Its unique island site allows the architecture to be expressed on all sides. The original Victorian terrace building addressing Dorcas Street has been restored and reinstated as an active commerce centre contributing to the streetscape and connecting with the neighbourhood, whilst housing private tenancies within.
The Charles Street laneway references Richard Giblett’s paintings on the contemporary metropolis and reinterprets it into physical urban art using the materiality of Corten and various shades of steel. By night this intervention becomes illuminated, drawing similar ideas to the artwork of Dan Flavin, by painting the street surface with light. The illumination of Charles Street also creates a sense of safety through passive surveillance.
The architecture and interior experiences are inherently connected. Entry into the building occurs via John Street where mirrored glass and blackened metal elevate the sense of arrival. The Lobby interior mimics its colourful exterior with autumnal tones of mirrored glass. Above sits four levels of well-crafted one and two-bedroom apartments, offering clear views of Melbourne’s urban skyline.
On the upper level, the Piccolo penthouse office reinforces the solidity of the building using silver travertine to make an appropriately elevated interior response to the overarching idea of stone being carved away. Imbued with the qualities of a high calibre residential project, the resulting palette is intentionally dark, timber, black and bronzed metal.
Effortlessly merging heritage and new, exterior and interior, commercial and residential Wood Marsh have designed a building that is a direct statement of their client’s values. Investing in longevity through commitment to quality design, Piccolo House stands as the embodiment of its developer and owner as a successful model of a progressive build-to-rent property and a new home for Piccolo’s own office.