Parnell Post Office

Designed whilst Pete was at Jasmax, the Parnell Post Office was an exercise in inserting an overtly modern building within an area that had been carefully restored to be more "Victorian" than it had originally been. Parnell is a busy shopping and dining area with a number of meandering pedestrian links which spread away from the main street to partially concealed courtyards and lanes, a schema which encourages wandering and exploration.

The Post Office development responds to the context in two primary ways. In plan a walkway leads deep into the site and then turns to become a narrow link leading to the side street, thus encouraging pedestrian perambulation between buildings. In elevation it respects the scale of the adjacent buildings; the eastern wing is single height to reflect the neighbouring houses, whilst the main wing is double height to match the building to the west. The natural fall from Parnell Road towards the south enables a lower level carpark under the main floor level.

To further integrate the scheme with the locale, the internal circulation within the site was kept open, rather than being an enclosed atrium as originally desired by the client. Entries to offices and shops are external, linked by a stair, upper level walkway and bridge. The Post Office itself was accommodated at the rear of the site, acting as a "magnet" to draw customers past shops and encourage activity within the site. The central walkway is covered by a large roof hovering across the second level, providing shelter whilst still enabling the feeling of an exterior street to prevail.