New home among the gum trees.

Peters Ice Cream’s 2250sqm Head Office accommodates 180 staff and creates a direct link with the existing Peters Ice Cream factory at the rear of the site in the south-eastern suburbs in Melbourne. The single storey office building explores a slightly different typology compared to a typical urban office building.

Its position on a natural fall in the land encouraged an innovative design response which resulted in several key features that enhance the building’s lightness of touch in the landscape. The challenge was to ensure that the head office had a presence on site when viewed in context with the existing factory buildings and surrounding environment.

“By using the existing topography, we lifted up the building to create a dramatic entry with the tilted butterfly roof and an undercroft carpark below the offices.”

Kelly Wellington
Senior Associate, Gray Puksand

A timber look Trespa canopy extends into the reception area to accentuate the connection between the exterior architecture and interior. A double-glazed curtain wall and a series of angled external columns on the north side, create the illusion of a two-storey structure that lightly touches the ground.

On the south side, the slender columns or sticks, which were inspired by a line of existing gum trees, are replaced with angular precast concrete panels to maintain thermal comfort using passive design principles and to frame views to the surrounding landscape. Perforated anodised metal screens suspended between the sticks provide additional sun-shading and are coloured to match the colours found in the gum trees.