A levitating assemblage of tectonic folds transforms Melbourne’s Sunshine Plaza retail precinct into an interconnected commercial office development.

Gray Puksand was appointed to lead the design of the new Sunshine Plaza Office development in Sunshine, Victoria. 

The client’s vision was for a commanding yet sensitively integrated commercial office building located within the existing Sunshine Plaza retail facility. 

Located at the northern edge of the Sunshine Activity Centre, the 16,500m2 NLA development will include six levels of commercial office space, a 120 place Early Learning Centre and basement car parking with connection into the retail plaza at ground level. 

The architectural language is that of stacked and offset folded forms, expressed as multi-toned textured concrete and weathered metal feature boxes as keystone blocks. 

Each component of the form is equivalent, with differing orientations of the folded forms responding to site conditions. The folds slide and interlock like a Chinese puzzle.

The site’s history and geological topography are acknowledged in the palette of rich earth tones. 

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Charcoal forms pay homage to the volcanic basalt flow that characterises the local geology. Rust tones found in the weathered metal reflect the iron relics of the historical Sunshine Harvester Works which commanded the site in the early to mid-1900’s.

The regularity of the stacked folds is interrupted at the entry to reveal a double height lobby void where the mass and material expression hover and contain the volume within.

The folds project into the public realm to provide canopy cover to footpaths, and slide away to the north and east to provide generous outdoor play space for the children in the Early Learning Centre to activate and soften the urban realm interface.

The mass and horizontality of the forms is expressed but not grounded, creating the visual tension of ‘floating weight’ that delivers an appearance of being balanced by unseen magnetic forces. 

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