Royal Domain Tower Art Facade

(Royal Domain Tower Art Facade)

Melbourne, Australia

Completion Date

Far East Consortium
(Australia) Pty Ltd

AUD $800,000

Dylan Brady

Geoff Nees

Main Tower Architect
Bruce Henderson Architects

Structural Engineer
Windward Structures

Main Contractor
FDI Contractors

Sebastian Gollings
John Gollings


The Royal Domain Tower (RDT) Art Façade was designed by studio505 in collaboration with Australian artist Geoff Nees. Awarded 2009 Best Contribution to Urban Art by the City of Port Phillip, the art façade is an addition to the exclusive Royal Domain Residential Tower on St Kilda Road in Melbourne.


Clad over 5 storeys of car park, the new facade is an artwork of monumental urban scale that retains the elegant simplicity and subtle complexity possible in cut skin relief sculptures. studio505 developed a design where the geometric spirals intersected and transferred their geometries into one another creating an eternal flow across the surface. The composition is a giant constellation; a great swirling mass of actions in a field of molten cosmic matter. It remains a simply cut and peeled surface, yet it evokes the complexity of wind and turbulence, linkage and attraction, botanical geometries, and of sublime understandings that reside just under the surface of material things.


The art facade is made up of a series of stainless steel sheets with intricate laser cut petals hand folded outwards. Spiraling mandalas are made up from a series of petals each varying in size. The folded petals provide natural ventilation to the five storey car park behind. The stainless steel captures the ambient light about it, folding it and warping it into a dynamic and alive surface, continuously changing with the viewer and environment. Like a sundial, the relief serves to record the effect of light, creating a secondary composition of shadows across its surface.


In the evening the façade is lit entirely by borrowed light. All 25,000 petals were physically peeled out by hand in a workshop over a three week period. Light is paramount to the reading of the work and in a sense can be seen as its primary concern, despite and because of the fact that no specific lighting is required for the project.