Bent Architecture’s Melrose Health project involved the transformation of a mundane, unresponsive office building into the dynamic new headquarters for Melrose Health, a national health company in Melbourne.
The Melrose brand represents an ideology of whole body health, where nature is harnessed to promote well-being, and they required a workplace that did the same. The existing two storey office was a typically unhealthy, soulless, refrigerated box, disconnected from the outside and from the warehouse and production facility. In Bent’s view, a healthy office is one that is responsive to the natural environment and engaged with the process within.
In order to facilitate an immediate and meaningful connection between the office and its surrounds, the north facing street façade was eroded by introducing an organic steel structure that literally connected the site’s landscape to the building fabric.
Part sun-shade and part landscape arbour, the structure supports vines that liberate the existing north facing windows that would otherwise cower from hot summer sun. This, in combination with openable windows that were inserted to allow natural ventilation, reducing the building’s energy dependence supporting a healthier work environment.
This project demonstrated that typically mundane and static office/warehouse buildings (typical in the industrial estates of outer Melbourne) can be successfully transformed into environmentally responsive and engaging workplaces which fuse warehouse, administration and landscape into one cohesive whole.