7/21/2012

Pixel; Melbourne, Australia


The former CUB Brewery site is the location 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.



Studio 505 was approached by Grocon to design the development Office (Pixel), the last building to be conceived on the site, and the first to be built.  Pixel also claims the other two extremes, namely being the smallest building with the biggest expectations.  The requirement was for Pixel to provide a 6 Star Greenstar Carbon Neutral home for the Development team and Sales Offices, a display suite area and green roof top viewing area, for the duration of the developments construction and sales phase.






Pixel features one of the most sophisticated water treatment and utilization systems ever to be built.  The building was designed to be water balanced meaning that 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 historic 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.  Studio 505 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.


Scoring a perfect 105 Greenstar points, Pixel has also achieved 105 points under the US LEED rating system making it the highest rated building of any yet certified for LEED anywhere in the world.  It is aiming to exceed the highest score yet achieved under the UK BREEAM rating system.  To put it 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.