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Technē designs an immersive experience for the Victoria Harbour Sales and Leasing Centre

As part of their ongoing development at Victoria Harbour, Lendlease have engaged Techne Architecture and Interior Design to deliver their new Victoria Harbour Sales and Leasing Centre. The completed centre has been designed to help to market and sell Lendlease’s remaining developments in Victoria Harbour, whilst also aiding in the approximately 1,500 apartment settlements expected over the next 18 months.

The sales centre is locate in close proximity to Victoria Harbour’s most recent developments, offering dual frontage to Collins and Bourke streets and proximity to the 888 Collins Street visual light display. Unlike a traditional display suite that presents a 1:1 scale version of a finished apartment, the 300sqm centre envisions the future precinct through a number of interactive and immersive installation zones. 

We were conscious of the need to articulate the potential experience to the customer, without a tangible product and, in a constantly evolving location. Responsiveness to the precinct’s established blend of technological innovation and public interaction was integral to our design, and ultimately saw us take a more modern approach to marketing property.

- Justin Northrop, Technē Director

Immersive design features are critical elements of the customer experience and include a 20-screen media wall, interactive digital scale model, theatrical ceiling light display, and large-scale Lego model of the Collins Wharf masterplan.

Urban Melbourne spoke to Technē Senior Associate, Gabriella Gulacsi about the firm's design thinking and some of the challenges associated with designing a display suite that is adaptable over the course of the next 5-10 years.

Victoria Harbour Sales and Leasing Centre features a Lego model. Image courtesy Techne

Urban Melbourne: What were some of the design drivers for the display suite design?

Gabriella Gulacsi: The design drivers for the display suite design centred primarily on the layering of space, both horizontally and vertically, and the overarching project objectives which called for the use of timeless materials and finishes, an adaptable floorplan and sustainability.

The layering of spaces allows for the defined zones and sales information, and also helps to prioritise the sales tools. A sculptural ceiling installation provides visual interest in the open plan space, and introduces an innovative lighting solution to create ambience within the suite.

UM: Were Techne engaged following their previous work with Lend Lease on the Melbourne Quarter residential display suite?

GG: Yes. Due to the success of Melbourne Quarter we were recommended for the Victoria Harbour project.

UM: What were some of the challenges the design team faced?

GG: The site was impressive with high ceilings throughout however the wedge shaped geometry of the site didn’t afford easy spatial organisation - a challenge when articulating a clear sales journey to potential buyers.

We were also conscious of the potential for the space’s large size, strong connection to the street, and visually busy facades to distract from the sales journey. To ensure customers would feel comfortable and could focus on the sales message, the design incorporates ample natural lighting, defined zones throughout the tenancy and a large centralised digital display.

UM: Was adaptability considered for the suite with Victoria Harbour still evolving over the next 5-10 years? How do you design with that in mind?

The colourful interior. Image courtesy Techne

GG: The brief called for a design that would respond to the constantly evolving nature of the precinct. Each area that is adaptable over the five to 10-year life span was designed as a focal point, featuring elements that can be tailored for new developments within the precinct. This flexibility in the design comprises physical and digital displays and, allows for future technological advancements such as virtual reality.

Techne’s experience in workplace design means that future-proofing is inherent in each of our design responses. The ability to draw from our work across sectors provides an informed basis for the design intent of a project.

UM: And lastly, What sort of lifespan has the design suite been designed for? 
 
GG: The suite has been designed to appeal to a broad target market for apartments and facilitate the sale of multiple product types over the next five to ten years.

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