Iconic Heritage, Sustainable Future
A staple of Melbourne’s architectural heritage, the Olderfleet office building at 477 Collins Street has received a unique, modern integration. An amalgamation of three original buildings erected in the 1800’s, Olderfleet has had numerous purposes and tenants throughout the years. True to the history of Melbourne, Mirvac’s Olderfleet building embraces Melbourne’s Romanesque and Gothic Victorian architectural traditions whilst stepping into the future and creating a workplace of tomorrow.
Adding to the prestige of this Melbourne heritage listed site, Olderfleet is now a three-time award winning building. In 2021, Good Design Australia recognised the fitout for anchor tenant Deloitte Digital. The following year, the Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) bestowed two awards on the Olderfleet building.
- Good Design Award for Architectural Interior 2021
- CTBUH Best Tall Building 100-199 meters 2022
- CTBUH Best Tall Office Building 2022
Throughout this extensive redevelopment, Studco® provided full service by supplying engineering designs, providing logistical support, on-site testing and installation assessments. The modern interior of 477 Collins Street became a reality thanks to the collaboration between Studco and Arc Plastering, and Olderfleet was transformed into a classically Melbourne building by completion.
Meets Urban Melbourne
Marvellous Melbourne, a nickname dating back to the 1880’s, still applies to Collins Street. It was only natural to preserve a part of the city’s rich tapestry in the Olderfleet building as it remains a bookmark of one of the most exciting chapters in Melbourne’s history.
As a heritage listed site, a unique challenge during the engineering and design stage of this development was attaching to the existing structure. Since Olderfleet’s original construction (1880’s) and redevelopment (1980’s), the methods and quality of Australian construction have immensely improved. The Studco technical team needed to first understand the impact 30 years had on the existing structure to account for any irregularities.
Whilst it was important to preserve the city’s marvellous history at the Olderfleet building, it was equally important to embrace the urban culture of modern Melbourne. The Deloitte offices house Australia’s largest art collection, where each piece is created by local artists. A key challenge facing this fit out was to accommodate this collection. Engineering designs needed to ensure the walls in this fit out could be the canvas for these expansive art pieces. The design of these walls included support and bracing with Studco StrongArm® brackets and additional noggings. Designing these walls in this way meant they could support some of Melbourne’s urban artistic visions by meeting the significant shelf loads required.
13 Floors of the Ultimate Modern Office Space
The design of this fitout has created an innovative workplace with a focus on teamwork and collaboration for Deloitte Digital. A combination of free-flowing, open plan workspace and zoned breakout spaces accommodates the range of workstyles found at Deloitte. Scattered throughout the open spaces are displays, custom built workstations and screens, communal benches, whiteboard holders and space dividers.
The variety of applications required in these spaces led the Studco technical team to develop wall designs accommodating the demands of any given space. Breakout rooms with large screens required walls that could support their weight. To further strengthen these areas, additional bracing within the ceiling system provided strength by attaching directly to the structure.
A “Top-Down” Solution
A fascinating element of this project was the construction of the walls themselves. Rather than building from the floor up as usual, the initial part of the wall actually had to be built from the concrete soffit downward. The need to build downwards presented unique challenges during the construction phase. To build from the concrete soffit downwards, temporary support braces were installed during the ceiling installation. As the glass and aluminium partitions were completed below the bulkheads, these support braces were then removed.
The StrongArm bracket was the perfect solution for this type of installation. StrongArm was fixed directly to the concrete structure and the hung wall, securing the installation whilst the lower wall was installed. Upon the completion of the entire wall, these brackets remained installed without the screws used for fixing to the hung wall. This process meant that the entirety of the hung wall remained supported, and the acoustic properties of the wall restored.
Withstanding Future Seismic Events
Virtually all new buildings are assessed to determine the extent of the seismic design criteria, and the Olderfleet building is no exception. As part of this project, Studco was tasked with providing seismic designs for the ceiling and bulkheads in the 13-level fit out for Deloitte. Seismic ceiling connections were included throughout, whilst seismic bracing was installed back to the structure. Through these designs, the Studco technical team met the challenge 477 Collins Street presented, leaning upon their expertise in seismic design to meet these requirements in an economical way.
Creating breakout and meeting spaces was a key requirement of the Deloitte fitout. With multiple spaces clustered together, it was integral to design with reducing airborne sound transmission in mind. In doing so, multiple spaces could be used simultaneously without confidential conversations carrying from one room to another. The challenge presented from this was how to incorporate sound isolation elements into a wall that also needed to meet increased shelf loads from interactive boards and screens.
The Resilmount® MBFR and M237R Direct Fix Clips provided the solution to this problem. These acoustic resilient mounting clips attach to Studco Furring Channels to wall studs or the concrete structure. As the clips could work in conjunction with the encompassing wall system, they were not at risk of being compromised by any additional framing inclusions, such as noggings. This method ensured that meetings could continue discreetly without interruption.