The Postal Hall is the grand space at the heart of Perth’s State Buildings complex. There are inherent programmatic requirements of the space; it is reconfigured regularly for large events, with all arrangements necessitating a readily accessible flexibility in use.
To address this, our ambition for the project was to redefine this civic gateway through the design of a centralised, demountable bookshop. Respecting existing alignments, the bookshop is conceived as a central hub in the hall’s atrium, creating a moment of pause within its generous context.
Designed as small scale, mobile elements and informed by ‘kite’ componentry, a series of independent modules connect to form the bookshop as a legible ensemble, with each module contributing to the necessary functional requirements of the space.
Its construction and material expression suggest permanence and temporality, a bookshop operating as a part of a commercial reality that is equally grounded in the public realm.
Located within the vast volume of the State Building’s Postal Hall, the architects have crafted an installation that holds its own, creating space and encourages patrons to inhabit, linger and enjoy the Hall. Whilst creating a retail activation it also creates a civic meeting place and allows for a variety of uses across the week.
Consideration of the concept required connection to the historic nature of the building and a well-crafted approach to assembly. The design of the componentry was complex, yet simple enough to ensure that is can easily be constructed and deconstructed when needing to be moved.
Natural textures, timber and steel form a material palette that respond sympathetically to the surrounding heritage features. The geometry is derived from the unique site requirements and distilled throughout the entire project down to the smallest details such as the connection points of the screens and displays.
Alessio Fini, Design Consultant
Dayne Trower, Project Architect
Simona Falvo, Project Architect