However, the most significant change to the appearance of this 1980s building is the new bronze stainless steel cladding across the entire facade, wrapping around its two corners.
“The dimple finish is slightly evocative of the color and texture of the granite used for the Shell building’s forecourt,” says Wong, who was keen to respond to the surrounding built form and the importance of other significant buildings on Flinders Lane.
“It’s about extending this architectural language but also creating a new outcome,” he says.
This dimpled brass also reflects the neighboring buildings, including Seidler’s, and to magnify this sheen NH Architecture also included mirrored bands of glass across some of the levels, faceted to animate and further reflect the surroundings.
“We didn’t want the facade to appear static. With the brass it continually changes throughout the day, depending on the direction of the sun,” says Jenkin.
On the top two levels are completely new windows, set behind deep reveals to further add depth to the composition.
Part of the brief given to HN Architecture was to create a new sense of arrival.
It relocated the front doors closer to the footpath and added a new granite-clad column which includes a light box that has clear signage of the building’s address.
Beyond these doors is a more streamlined lobby (previously there were angular timber blade walls) with aerated aluminum panels on the walls and granite tiles on the floors, the latter extending outside the lift core to form a new bench.
And to increase a sense of space, particularly given the lobby’s low ceiling, NH Architecture used a stretch vinyl with concealed lighting.
There’s now also a new brass canopy over the pavement that acts as an extension of the building’s facade, ideal for those caught in a downpour and needing time to dry off before heading to the Treasury Gardens at the end of the street.
Those passing by Cannons House might think there’s a new kid on the block. However, it’s still a 1980s building, just with a brand-new coat that will keep it looking good for decades to come.
“We considered this project as an opportunity to strengthen an important streetscape and respond to its history,” says Jenkin, who sees the award-winning design as now complementing the environ.