“Lift cars are the modern equivalent of an arrival archway, registering the entrance to a new space and a new domain. An important stage in the arrival and departure of a journey, people enter a space where all other experiences of the building are momentarily suspended.” – Simone LeAmon
Dayorama is a refurbishment of six lift cars at the prestigious St James redevelopment in Melbourne’s CBD featuring animated electroluminescent artworks, Corian® and timber veneer wall panelling, custom handrails and LED lighting.
An opportunity to draw on the history and heritage of the lift car as a bespoke interior that enabled the modern city – the Dayorama project aimed to recapture some of the early ‘magic’ of the lift car and revisit the practice of embedding cars with narrative and craft sensibilities. The aesthetic appeal of the Dayorama lift cars is reminiscent of the ‘golden age’ of vertical transportation at the beginning of the 20th century, influenced by the Art Deco period. Contemporary fabrication methods and technology firmly place the design in the present.
The lift cars at St James act as the gateway and transition zone to the inner core of the St James building, presenting a unique opportunity to prepare the visitor for the experience of the workplace. The Dayorama project is about harnessing the travel time we spend in a lift car to enable an experience that can transform how we feel and think about our day at work. Each lift car incorporates a unique, animated electroluminescent artwork (with the design and typography developed in collaboration with the Envelope Group) – SMALLTALK, NETWORKING, WORKSONG, NEWSWEEK, DAYCARE and HOMEWORK – that capture the texture of work life, from the uplifting to the frustrating, the anecdotal to the absurd.
Through its various possibilities in thermoforming and moulding, and its capacity for precise cutting and joining, Corian® offered a flexibility that was critical to exploring the visual design.
The lift cars are lined in a white lattice that is an evolution of the 5 day calendar: dissolving as it traverses the walls of the lift it provides a new yet familiar identity to the space. To form the lattice, white Corian® was cut and thermoformed in sections in the factory, with final fitting and finishing occurring inside the car itself.
Lift cars are subject to extreme wear and tear, a high degree of movement and high fire and safety standards.
Fabrication required a material that could be machined with a very high degree of specificity, with tolerances practically non-existent. The flexibility of Corian® was paramount in executing this vision: it is forgiving and easily worked to form complex shapes such as the ceiling coving which sits continuously 2mm proud of the timber veneer panelling. We were fortunate to work with a highly skilled team who were instrumental in realising the design.
Client: Julliard Group
Graphic and typography: Envelope Group
Lighting consultant: 2B Designed