When the call came for OLSK to jump on the interior build for Star Health, located at the brand new Victorian Pride Centre, the answer was a resounding ‘yes'.
Now standing prominently on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, the Star Health and Victorian Government initiative was commissioned to be the first pride centre in Australia. The scope was for the building to become home to a range of LGBTIQ+ focused organisations and businesses.
The build of the VPC signaled the beginning of a new era of Australian LGBTQI history, and was only fitting that the building itself was aptly designed to celebrate the diversity of members to roam its halls. To coincide with the outcome from the marriage equality vote and accompanying legislation, the Victorian Pride Centre is now both a monument to, and a home for the fight for equal rights.
Kent Burgess, CEO of Star Health stated that as a workplace and health service Star Health has an important role to play in promoting gender equality and creating a culture with conditions and practices that are inclusive and equitable for all genders.
St Kilda architecture firms Grant Amon Architects and Brearley Architects and Urbanists created the winning design of the $38m project, with the five-story centre featuring a cinema, library, rooftop garden and a health service. The creation was put in the hands of construction company Hansen Yuncken.
The centre was designed to be a monumental addition to Fitzroy Street, and bring more visitors to the area. The unmistakable structure came to life with a “rainbow” concept – hypothetical cylinders splice through the building, resulting in the Centre’s distinctive circular arches on the façades and the interior walls.
The interior’s captivating and adaptable spaces are designed to prioritise the needs of the businesses now residing in the centre. In addition to housing a total of 15 organisations, the 9600sqm building also features a theatrette and gallery, meeting rooms and 20 coworking desks.
Star Health's workspace on Level 2 was built and fitted-out by OLSK, amongst the flexible interior plans to suit the variety of people yet to come.
OLSK were selected by the architect to work closely with them to create the office fit-out. Known for being able to effortlessly handle non-conventional sites and spaces, OLSK was the obvious choice to work within the archways and support the cylindrical outlook of the workspaces.
OLSK was able to adhere to the thematic consistency and sense of flow with traditional desk spaces, meeting rooms, private phone booths, and an assortments of reading nooks – tying together the urban design of the exterior with the interior layout. There is an overall sense of ease and welcome.
Ideal for igniting collaboration, the ellipsoid atrium full of fluid lines and bright sunlight, the stairs and the balconies enable everyone to have a complete view of the organisations and people that inhabit the building’s four stories.
The building reflects the importance of diversity and marks the building as a loud and proud addition to the streetscape. The building was also carefully planned to suit the needs of the streets around it, with a terrace shading the footpath and providing a view of the local shops.
Victorian Pride Centre chief executive Justine Dalla Riva said the building had been a long journey in the making.
“People are in awe of the building, and I think it is a very strong and iconic statement about the value of our worth as individuals and as a community.” OLSK is proud to be a part of the journey for the LGBTQI+ community in Victoria.