Caledonia House – completed office building by dbrds

59 Berry Street is a recently completed 3 story office building designed by de bartolo +rimanic design studio in Nowra, some 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. The client – James Caldwell, proud of his Scottish heritage christened the recently completed building ‘Caledonia House – the Latin name given by the Romans to his homeland of Scotland.

As the project is some 7500 miles away & down-under from dbrds’ San Diego based office, we engaged local photographer Adam Wright of  ‘Wright-in-Focus’ to document the completed building.

The result is a well proportioned office building with a simple but functional column free interior layout for maximum flexibility for tenants interior fit outs. The entry & service core of the building are located to the south side of the lot (that is, the sunless & windy side in Australia) allowing for a rhythm of windows & generous natural light from the north & east to filter into the office spaces. Metal sun-hoods shade summer sun to these windows, while windows to the west are limited to allow natural light, but to reduce the amount of heat gain in the building in the afternoons.

The building s foundations are engineered designed screw piers upon which the external concrete walls are constructed. The cast in place solid core concrete walls support the concrete pre-stressed panel flooring resulting in the open floor plates. To continue the commercial streetscape language to the north (also owned by client James), a level 3 terrace was designed to take advantage of the views & to provide tenants with an outdoor retreat space.

All the mechanical equipment was concealed under the sloping roof. The roof was then extruded, cantilevering over the third floor terrace to give the building a dynamic built form that is undeniably modern & iconic in the coastal town of Nowra.


  1. jun

    Poetic… stunning beautiful…light washes through the smooth surface like water running though stones…yet concrete and solid…
    Congratulations Pauly and Ivan.

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