405 Bourke Street

Woods Bagot

405 Bourke Street is a luminous addition to an iconic Melbourne street. Known as ‘the lantern’ its softly glowing façade visually activates the urban fabric by creating an inviting landmark that adds character and a sense of simple elegance to a busy and bustling part of the city.

Utilising a single technique of continuous ‘laminations’, 405 Bourke Street resolves numerous site constraints and covenants, as well as creating visual connection between the large East and West elevations and podium street wall. The rhythm of CBD’s grid emerges in de-constructed form via multiple reflections and repetitions that refract and absorb light across the facade’s laminated edges – playing off the energy of the city. 405 Bourke exists in horizontal alignment to its adjoining, historic neighbours, and is an excitingly modern addition to the city skyline. The development connects, at an urban level, to a network of Melbourne lanes via new through-site links that provide access in and across the site. The design utilises space defining techniques similar to the perpetual reflection created by two opposing mirrors and that seen in a series of stacked glass laminations. With both design moves, one monolithic object is broken down on its edges by the visual effect of perpetual reflectivity. The dramatically simple facade system of repetitive laminations is designed to catch the sun differently throughout the day. An ever-changing facade expression from morning to evening through the subtle shift in plane across the East and West, absorbing the energy of the city.