Glenferrie Road Refurbishment - 818 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
This office and retail development in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, appears as a brand new building. And in some ways it is with its generous glazing and steel cladding to the upper levels. However, this corner site, comprising shops at ground level, with two office floors above, conceals what was once a fairly rudimentary 1980s building.
One of the main problems with the 1980s building, apart from its lack-lustre appeal, was that the frontage was set back five metres as a forecourt. “That space wasn’t being used and it wasn’t going to be suitable for new retail tenancies (previously one large real estate office),” says architect Stuart Marsland, Principal with RotheLowman, who extended the ground floor to meet the edge of the street pavement and in line with other retail tenancies along this shopping strip.
RotheLowman’s brief included an entirely new façade to accommodate six new retail fit-outs at street level. The office on the first floor was also refurbished, including a large terrace overlooking Glenferrie Road. What was a pop-up style office on the top floor has now been expanded to include the entire floor plate.
One of the main challenges for Project Group as well as for Rothelowman was allowing the office staff to remain while the renovation was occurring. As important was to create a level of privacy for the offices fronting a busy thoroughfare. The architects came up with a novel way of screening the offices using advertising signage. “The signage has a function beyond selling. But it certainly gives the building a street presence,” adds Marsland.