73 Northbourne Refurbishment & Repositioning, ACT

client: South Haven Group

location: Canberra, ACT

area: 7,038m2

role: interior design

completion date: April, 2019

After acquiring 73 Northbourne in 2016, South Haven appointed peckvonhartel to reposition their asset. Creating an attractive destination for future commercial office tenants and providing a building that positively contributes to the precinct in which it resides was peckvonhartel’s central design challenge. For South Haven it was important to maximise the opportunities Canberra’s new light rail presented. Capturing the future increase in pedestrian traffic within the building’s immediate precinct to create an activity hub at its base and revitalising the asset to ensure it holds pride of place on Northbourne Avenue, the gateway to Canberra’s central business district were considered key success measures.

The experience begins at street level with a new awning, feature louvre blades and large scale LED signage orientated to the buildings corner frontage, which increases the building’s visual presence within the surrounding cityscape and creates a distinctive entry point.

peckvonhartel’s design supports a number of initiatives across the ground floor plane, contributing to South Haven’s ambition to create additional value for tenants. The lobby delivers occupants a home ground advantage by reclaiming underutilised space and designing significant amenity beyond tenancy walls; the espresso bar, boardroom and business lounge offer a contemporary space for tenants to host meetings and collaborate. The business lounge and espresso bar are visible from street level and are publicly accessible, servicing the hospitality and public space deficiencies within the building’s surrounding precinct.

A curved, black cladded wall guides tenants towards the lift lobby and provides South Haven with the perfect canvas to host a rotational art exhibition. It is a noteworthy gesture towards increasing the tenants’ day to day experience; a neutral palate allows the artwork to take centre stage, inspiring tenants and visitors and adding personality and character. The upgrade works have also taken into account different modes of transport to and from the building by increasing bicycle parking capacity and modernising the look and feel of the existing end of trip facilities. Overall, peckvonhartel have enabled South Haven to create an environment that attracts, inspires and supports their tenants, and more importantly retains them.