1010 La Trobe Street, Digital Harbour

This administration building is part of ARM’s masterplan for Digital Harbour’s technology-based community. It is aimed at start-up and research businesses in the IT industry.

Its features the latest thinking in office design. It is flexible: the on-off perimeter wall system is based on common office modules; the open-plan spaces make technology upgrades and repurposing easy. The spaces can be reconfigured quickly and easily to help tenants meet and cross-pollinate ideas.

The building is designed without ceilings so that pipes, wiring etc are exposed. This makes frequent refits easier, saves materials and creates an engaging look with variation in the heights and volumes of workspaces.

The building has a generous foyer leading to the lift lobby and ground floor cafe facilities, a design that encourages workers to socialise and meet other tenants.

Through the imaginative use of ordinary building materials and methods, 1010 La Trobe Street reinvents proven technologies in a creative and unusual way.

The black and white façade has become a famous example of the café wall (or Münsterberg) optical illusion. The rows of rectangles look as if they narrow towards one side or the other, but the horizontal lines dividing them are, in fact, parallel.

“The design of 1010 La Trobe street incorporates world leading environmental design principles and technologies. ARM Architecture has approached the design with a clear focus on reducing environmental impact to create an office complex that lives harmoniously within its environment”

—Green Building Council of Australia