Architecture: Leonda

Sep 28, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer Foong + Sormann

Leonda is a function centre, originally built in the 1970s. The brief was to rejuvenate the exterior and create new entrances. Although the building had excellent bones, they were hidden behind dated brown bricks, messy landscaping and incongruous entrance canopies and additions from the 1990s.

The new design emphasises and embraces the clear, assertive architecture of the original building. New, bold entrances add drama to the approach. The new entry is comprised of three key components: a plinth, wall and a 13-metre-long canopy. The travertine plinth allows visitors to access the entry doors from all main routes and creates a planter box to one side that becomes a seat as the ground level falls.

The wall defines a space to congregate and for cars to pull up to, offering guests protection from traffic and wind. It will also become a green backdrop once the vine develops.

The canopy was the key device in providing length, which was critical in adding drama to the approach. We were mindful that many visitors would rather take a discreet route, which has been provided by clearing the direct path from both car parks along the building line. It is hoped that these architectural gestures help set the right tone.

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