- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Scott Burrows
- Architect PA Architects
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While the headquarters building for McDonalds in Aspley, Queensland represents a global multinational corporation, the design of the building focuses on a specific group of people and functions that are particular to the site. This three-storey, $6 million development was finished in December 2009.
Located alongside existing commercial and retail developments, the building is visually connected to the scale and forms of the neighbouring buildings. Most of the ground level is given to car parking and support columns, but to avoid the appearance of a two-level box perched above a base of columns, the vertical support structure was brought forward of the northern facade to express the column grid and integrate the structural bones of the building with the outer skin. Each floor slab extends out to provide shade from the sun, humanizing the bulk and scale of the building with an articulated series of smaller forms.
The building incorporates sustainable features including a skillion roof, which provides shade to all northern windows during the summer, while allowing winter sun to penetrate under the substantial overhang to the large terrace and staff recreation areas on the second level.
The main entry and stairwell features a large frameless glass skin an identifiable point of entry for visitors to the building. At night, the illumination from this glazed box produces a warm subtle glow, reflecting from within the natural stone-tiled walls.
Drainage is often the forgotten workhorse of the building and design function. Yet drainage maintains a simple albeit vital purpose.