The Wesley Place precinct is fast becoming one of Melbourne’s premier architectural office buildings. This modern, premium grade tower is the backdrop for the historically significant Wesley Church and its accompanying green space. The importance placed on preserving this cultural site has been recognised, with Wesley Place being awarded the John George Knight Award for Heritage Architecture in the 2022 Victorian Architecture Awards.
Now completed, 130 Lonsdale St offers bright, spacious offices with a plethora of features. Tenants and visitors have access to a vast bike storage area, showers and changing rooms, Wi-Fi enabled and ergonomic office spaces, technological enhancements including a workplace assistant app, and shared, open hubs for gatherings.
Disturbance Free Office Spaces
Privacy is a key when developing an office space. Collaborative spaces and meeting rooms with shared walls require designs which incorporate components to prevent confidential discussions from carrying to the following room. Resilmount MBFR Sound Isolation Clips was ideal for these settings. These adjustable clips are designed to eliminate the need for packing to account for uneven wall surfaces, in addition to reducing airborne vibration. The signature red sound isolation element reduces contact between the two sides of a wall and reduces the transmission of sound in the process without compromising the wall or frame itself. In doing so, this limits the transference of sound waves carried by the vibration of molecules and limiting sound from adjacent rooms.
A Testament to Collaboration
Wesley place is a true expression of what can be achieved through collaboration. From working closely to ensure the rejuvenation of Wesley Church and its surrounding facilities to the internal engineering designs, Studco® is proud to have worked intimately with partners Expoconti and Lendlease to assist in the creation of one of Melbourne’s benchmark skyscrapers.
Studco played a significant role in the development of multiple areas of Wesley Place and in many instances collaborated to develop exceptional project outcomes. The Studco Team liaising directly with Armstrong Ceilings to develop a single source ceiling solution embodies this. This solution featured throughout the project, adding value through ease of installation and high-quality finishing.
Engineering challenges also provided opportunities for collaboration. Working closely with Kusch consulting engineers, intricate ceiling designs could incorporate a seismic design without compromising on necessary utilities running throughout the ceiling. This collaboration could then be applicable throughout multiple areas of the project.
Breaking the Framing Mould
The philosophy of the Studco Technical Team is to search for simple but creative answers when presented with an unusual situation. During the design of 130 Lonsdale St, the Studco team catered to multiple unique designs. They approached each by leveraging their experience but keeping an open mind to new ideas and possibilities.
A Double-Ceiling Solution
One of the more challenging areas of the project was the development of the lower plant rooms which house utilities for multiple building services. The challenge of these rooms stemmed from the requisite demands the presence of services placed. Primarily, they required a double-ceiling system with acoustic isolation. These designs accommodated for the vast array of services and cladding housed in the room, providing substrate and seismic support with both layers. In doing so, a structurally sufficient system was created. This design could then be tailored to multiple settings throughout the tower.
The Studco Technical Team also worked to develop a custom solution for rooms requiring structurally sufficient upper-level ceiling systems. The need driving these solutions was to support services and cable trays on lower-level ceilings. This was achieved by combining standard ceiling system products with a custom bracket.
The curved walls of the office spaces in Wesley Place give each level a soft, flowing aesthetic when paired with the natural light within the space. Whilst visually pleasing, these walls provided an interesting challenge to engineer. Studco’s EzyTrack Curved Wall Track provided a solution to what can otherwise be a time-consuming installation. By utilizing EzyTrack’s ability to be maneuvered into place by hand, the countless curved walls throughout Wesley Place could be created expediently.
A Standout Ceiling
The feature bulkhead of Wesley Place is an embodiment of the innovation that has gone into both design and engineering throughout the development. Not only do the curves of this bulkhead accentuate flowing walls and staircases throughout the building, but it also houses mechanical ducts and services. The diagonal bracing which stabilizes the structure in a traditional bulkhead couldn’t be used in this case as a result.
An intricate design involving stud framing interweaving through narrow gaps between services provided necessary support to the horizontal ceiling frame. In addition, the frame was fixed to concrete walls on both ends to ensure bracing requirements were met in full.
The Safest Service Possible
The Covid-19 Pandemic sparked many unique challenges in the construction industry. The Melbourne construction industry was hit hard in particular, subject to strict restrictions for work sites and transport, alongside a focus to maintain safety for everyone on site.
Studco was equipped with the resources to tackle these obstacles. With Victorian based manufacturing, Studco was able to navigate distribution delays resulting from border restrictions and suburban lockdowns. Additional precautions were taken in-house, during transit and upon delivery to ensure the safety of the Studco’s team and partners.
A key adjustment Studco needed to make throughout this process was how teams could provide support without being able to visit sites. Making themselves more available than ever before, both Sales and Tech teams leant on digital resources. Meetings were held over video calls enabling in depth discussion and collaboration. Virtual site inspections were performed rather than in person to ensure that quality installations were achieved. The commitment to exceptional service became increasingly evident as Studco worked to accommodate the needs of partners despite safety restrictions from consultation to completion.