With only a few days left to enter the WAN Workspace Interiors Award this is the last chance to enter your project into this high calibre competition!
We spend half of our lives at work and so it’s no surprise that workspace interior design is big business in the corporate world and beyond. As designers strive to make workspaces more engaging and ergonomically sound, the office environment is changing. It could even be said that a revolution is occurring in the way we think and behave whilst at work. For a greater insight into this subject, take a look at our Workspace Special report on how attitudes are changing.
Back to the WAN Workspace Interiors Awards and the latest entry, submitted by Hassell for their George Patterson Y & R project, Melbourne, Australia. The brief called for a ‘studio’ office environment that would reflect the creative team at George Patterson Y&R (and its sub-brands) while still being a practical modern office.
Various working areas were required, from presentation spaces and informal lounges to collaboration areas and formal workstations. Stripping this building back to its early 1900s glory – when it was viewed by Melburnians as an iconic boutique department store – was at the core of Hassell’s approach to this project.
Retail and commercial spaces are located on the first two levels with the office space above. The building itself is characterised by large open spaces and heritage architectural features such as Victorian columns, a glazed atrium on level three and ceiling heights ranging from three to six metres.
The key challenges were spreading a modest budget over a large floor area and designing within a space that was not originally intended as a workplace. One of the challenges of the project were the high ceilings – beautiful from a design perspective but problematic for consistent heating, cooling and lighting. Overcoming these issues meant removing decades of additions that we felt impeded the building’s appeal and inserting elements that stood free of the building fabric or architecture. This approach minimised expensive building works while at the same time allowing the heritage character of the interior to stand proud on its own.
The ‘elements’ were delivered in the form of a furniture-based series of responses to the client’s needs. One such response was using bookcases and defined floor finishes instead of walls to define spaces.
The result is a functional yet creative design that allows daylight to permeate the space without being inhibited by walls or other divisions and the removable furniture systems allow long-term flexibility within the space, ensuring minimal lifecycle costs. In addition, the GPY&R team were able to use the space while the work was in progress.
The Workspace Interiors Awards will be judged by an impressive panel of industry experts including Alice Fung, co-founder of 00:/ (zero zero) and Neil Usher, Group Property at Rio Tinto.