Rhodes House


  • Services

    Full architectural services with interior design

  • Location

    West Perth. WA

  • Client

    DFD Rhodes

  • Date


  • Project

    Commercial office building

The proposal for 30 – 34 Ord Street is a high-quality office building combined with a rooftop apartment.  The intent is to achieve Property Council of Australia A Grade Office Building Quality rating, as well as a certified 5 Star Green Star accreditation.

The building incorporates design cues and symbolism derived from the Client’s rich company History. DFD Rhodes’ background in mining contracting in the Pilbara region is reflected in the distinctive red Pilbara marble cladding. The Landscaped forecourt and curvilinear façade is derived from the planetary gearbox featured in the company’s ‘Rhodes Ridley‘ Truck, which was once the state’s largest road train, and a key part of the company’s history.

The primary street elevation features vertical perforated metal fins ‘bookended’ by two large marble arched elements, one of which forms the main entry.

Sun shading via vertical and horizontal screening to the North, East and West facades is utilised as a compositional tool, as well as providing improved thermal performance.

The building presents a significant landscaped courtyard to the primary street frontage, which interacts with the curvilinear façade and encourages an ‘interactive front’ to the pedestrian interface.  The design draws upon the rich architectural typology of the ‘West Perth office building’ and contributes to the character and context of the precinct through scale, materiality and landscaping.


Opportunities & Constraints

The site is situated in the desirable West Perth Precinct, this presents an opportunity to contribute to the long established ‘Four Storey Office Building’ architype that is prevalent in the precinct.

Amalgamation of lots 30-34 allows a wide street frontage, which facilitates a positive presentation to Ord Street, whilst keeping the mass of the building consistent with other commercial developments in the precinct.

Rear laneway access provides an opportunity for the existing vehicular site access to lot 30 be relocated to the rear of the property creating an uninterrupted landscape forecourt and improving pedestrian safety along the Ord Street elevation.

A constraint is the side setbacks being at 4.0m, whilst important to maintain the spacious ‘figure ground’ massing of the West Perth Precinct, the setbacks have put pressure on the available yield. The resulting minor encroachments of the sun shading systems are a compromised solution that is anticipated to be supported under the Policy.


Sustainability Principles

The brief is to deliver a benchmark project incorporating key sustainability principles.  The building is currently capable of providing 130kW of energy through extensive use of photovoltaic panels, which equates to 39% of the building’s energy consumption coming from renewable energy sources.  Panels are located on the roof, roof and North elevation.  The Panels on the elevations have been carefully integrated into the building façade and sun shading system.

The project is seeking an accredited 5 star Green star rating which includes sustainability targets at all stages of the building lifecycle from the beginning of the construction process to the re-use of building components at demolition.

The Brief is to deliver a Grade A office building in accordance with the Property Council guidelines.  The result of this will set a new benchmark for buildings of this scale and type in the West Perth Precinct