Over on the other side of the world, another incredible building that has been described as ‘minimalist-deconstructivist’. It stands in the heart of Melbourne, Australia, and is a public space which dominates its setting. A complex combining office space with cultural facilities, with brash, apparently chaotic exteriors grouped around a central plaza.
Aesthetically, the Federation Square building offers a radically fragmented reading of minimalism. The façades combine glass, zinc and exposed metal frames in jagged geometric forms. The building was designed by Lab Architecture Studio, led by Donald Bates and Peter Davidson.
Its interior contains art galleries, cinemas, restaurants, TV studios, shops and much more.
The site of the Federation Square building straddles the railway lines separating the city from the Yarra River. Like so many contemporary projects, it mixes shopping and culture.
The structure comprises steel struts with concrete partitions. Rubber shock absorbers deaden the vibrations caused by the trains passing under the building.
What’s remarkable about the building is the unique way it uses geometric forms to differentiate the various spaces it contains. The glass panels have a ‘shattered’ look like broken mirrors. The façade creates the effect of a giant spider’s web, a motif that is repeated throughout the building and lends identity to its setting, Federation Square.