Key Dates

29 February - Launch Deadline
23 May - Standard Deadline
25 July - Late Deadline
22 August - Judging
4 September - Winners Announced

177 Pacific Highway Lobby & Third Space

Image Credit : Luc Remond




Project Overview

Acknowledging the shifted industry expectations with new ways of working, the landlord sought to uplift the arrival of 177 Pacific Highway and lobby offering to align the design with the refined prestige and aesthetic of a hotel lobby. Hot Black’s approach was determined by the idea of Confluence as the conceptual driver, highlighting the notion of meeting, gathering, and a welcoming experience. Taking inspiration from Sydney Harbour, the design sought to create pockets of neighborhoods as individuals are guided through the space.

The spatial planning and wayfinding overlay focused on addressing the visitor experience. With 4 entry points, a mezzanine including a separate third space, a café, and a concierge, along with 2 access points to the commercial tenancies, the key challenge was intuitive navigation with varied offerings placed throughout.

Seeking to elevate the offering for tenants, Hot Black designed a third space experience for the mezzanine. Previously underutilized, the flexible design offers two bookable spaces with the ability for tenants to host events, workplace meetings, and training sessions. The privacy overlay supports a range of wellness and activities to be organized throughout the year.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

Hot Black


Design Director - Sophie Safrin
Lead Designer - Karina Simpson
Interior Designer - Olivia Traina
Graphic Designer - Alex Macoustra

Project Brief

The client’s brief sought to overhaul and reinvigorate the entire 2-level public plaza as a gateway to the building, bringing fresh purpose and a more welcoming tone to the expansive space. A crucial project driver sought to better navigate visitors through the space, having found guests struggled to locate the lifts and concierge raised on the mezzanine level.

Addressing the multitude of planes and access points became a key directive in spatially planning the lobby. Hot Black took inspiration from the harbor and its natural creation of pocket neighborhoods and swell-directing navigation. Seeking to bring warmth and a more intimate scale to the experience, the design focused on establishing a variety of seating pockets to support differing work, meeting, and social settings. A central current was established with a unique piece wrapping the existing trees, celebrating their presence within the lobby and creating an island from which pedestrian flows were navigated.

As an A-grade asset, the client’s desired look and feel sought to align with a high-end hotel lobby experience, supporting the broad range of tenants. The insertion of a third space to the mezzanine brought a new commercial offering to the tenants, considering the downsizing tenancy trend to support their occasional need for a large meeting or event space.

Project Innovation/Need

The spatial planning and wayfinding overlay focused on addressing the visitor experience. With 4 entry points, a mezzanine including a separate third space, café, and concierge, along with 2 access points to the commercial tenancies, the key challenge was intuitive navigation between the varied offerings placed throughout. Grounding the planning around the existing trees enabled a natural flow of movement; gentling directing guests around the central planting into pockets of meeting or circulation points and establishing a greater relationship between the trees and the lobby design. A range of sign types, from digital totems to bespoke suspended directional signs, were developed to support the design language of the space and enable visitor autonomy throughout.

Further to the movement, a key consideration from the client was better and more respectful integration of accessible access from the lobby floor to the mezzanine level. Hot Black brought the access lift from the awkward corner into the primary walkway for the new third space facilities. Offering an enclosed circular lift, the experience of inclusivity becomes one of purpose, intended as a design feature within the space.

Design Challenge

Wayfinding strategy was integral to assist in clarifying thoroughfares from 3 key entry points to the lobby up to the new third space lobby and existing offerings, such as the retail tenancies, commercial tower lobby, concierge, and end-of-trip facilities.

Looking to improve accessibility and universal design thinking throughout the design led to the decision to reposition the mezzanine access point, both with adjusted stairs and a new DDA lift. Seeking to provide a curatorial design for DDA access led to the challenges of specifying a lift that would not only meet but exceed standard requirements in compliance, aesthetics, and practicality. Finding a circular glass solution resulted in a refined and respectful treatment, no longer allowing for true accessibility to be an afterthought or mere tick-box exercise.

Further to these, the added difficulty of working within a live site meant considerable coordination to minimize disturbance to tenants and guests accessing the commercial tower and adjoining retail tenancies. As well as ensuring the extensive bluestone tiling condition was retained, with matching tiles sourced for new stairwells and minor updates.


Working within the existing architectural design presented the opportunity to utilize the strong characteristics of the distinct lobby space. Retaining much of the primary finishes, such as the extensive bluestone tiling, feature linear lighting, and raw concrete pillars, presented a strong base for the interior works. This both meant the public plaza retained much of the design language of the original commercial build, whilst further supporting the sustainability ethos of avoiding needless waste.

When developing the designs, a sustainable outcome for the project is at the forefront of the team’s considerations. Focusing on Australian-designed and made products, utilizing certified materials, and ensuring durability and longevity for each product, are key checkpoints for the works.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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