SET FOR TAKE-OFF
Melbourne’s Essendon Airport, languishing since the removal of commercial domestic flights in 1970, was ripe for commercial/retail redevelopment. The first major building at Essendon Fields sets the theme for this timely renewal.
Appropriately, the panels making up the composite facade seem to soar. The cantilevered energy efficient glass (reminiscent of a control tower) and aluminium panelling are counterpointed by a tall, triangular panel of Austral Bricks Terraçade terracotta facade tiles.
“We had some very slick materials, but we wanted something to contrast with them, so that it wasn’t just another smooth, polished building,” explains architect Frank Faelli. “We wanted, if you like, to introduce a bit of humanity.”
The Terraçade panel and an adjacent blade of Cor-ten oxidised steel add that texture. “And as you enter the building that’s what you first see and it tends to envelop you,” Faelli concludes.
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