2013 Herman Miller World’s Most Liveable Office
2013 Australian Interior Design Awards Shortlist
Well what a roller coaster ride and an amazing beginning for us. Who would have thought that a small boutique company would get the opportunity to work not only with a globally renowned media agency but to work with numerous amazing and unique individual businesses in the process?! It has been an incredible building block to establish our portfolio and media niche market.
To shed some light on the project we should start with the client, WPP. For those who may not be aware WPP is the world leader in communications services, comprising leading companies in: Advertising, Media Investment Management, Consumer Insight, Public Relations & Public Affairs, Branding & Identity, Healthcare Communications, Direct, Digital, Promotion & Relationship Marketing and Specialist Communications. It’s an amazingly large organisation that I have been told extends across 107 countries with 2500 offices and employs 158,000 people. So to put it bluntly, a bloody fantastic company to know!
We are currently working and have partially completed interior refurbishments for Maxus, Mindshare, Groupm, MEC and ‘M’. The refurbishments take place in a fairly traditional commercial office building in the heart of North Sydney. One of the biggest issues ahead for WPP was to masterplan the intense and continual growth for the different media agencies that occupy the building. One of the biggest issues ahead for the agencies was how would we be able to create individual unique personalities for each agency that all looked incredibly different and how would we do it in a drab traditional office tower.
Maxus was the smallest of the agencies involved and was very passionate to pursue a fit for purpose interior fitout that they could be proud of and, for the first time, have a say in the design of the interior. They had come from humble beginnings and had typically been sharing with other WPP agencies in another building in North Sydney. Our brief was to explore something different, unique, bold and most of all dynamic. Something we also noticed was that this company was fun and didn’t take themselves too seriously, which from our perspective was incredibly refreshing. A fitout where staff could thrive, collaborate with clients and other agencies envied.
The Bold Collective also had the unusual request to include a large ‘punching bag’ that was very special to the growth and history of the business. Considering this, The Bold Collective had decided the most impressionable area for Maxus would be the view from the lobby and the secondary arrival area. Together with a recycled brick wall, a bold tartan rug, an antique craftsman table and of course the punching bag it was all coming together well. An eclectic mix of new, vintage, unconventional materials and industrial features would make this fitout blossom for Maxus. The business had expressed that they really didn’t want their office to, for want of a better word, to ‘look like an office’! The Bold Collective wanted to explore OSB (Oriental Strand Board) and thought that the use of this product would certainly make for a non-traditional work environment. We utilised this material for a large trophy wall within the arrival area, wall and ceiling cladding and we even French polished a table top…..that the joiner will never forget!
Walking through from the arrival point there is a large pivotal client meeting area. This is strategically placed centrally to the arrival area yet it is in an open area and exposed to the workplace. The environmental graphics played a significant part within the fitout and enhanced the smaller open booth and small meeting room. The workplace consists of polished MDF surfaces, intense yellow and red power blades true to the colouring of the Maxus brand and older style lockers for each individual. There are no screens on the desks so they appear to be more like large collaborative tables than traditional desks.
Large expanses of blackened open ceilings with exposed services and polished concrete flooring also add to the general industrial aesthetic. Vinyl graphic film on the floor leads you through the meandering workplace into the large open café area where vintage trestle tables and acid yellow stools collide. The hammock and the beer brewing station also offer the sense of the unusual too!
We couldn’t be happier with the process and the client’s readily accepting ideas and creative inputs along the way. It made for an enjoyable ride.
Nothing says it better than hearing from the horse’s mouth so:
“The guys at Bold Collective did a great job of taking what was in reality a pretty loose brief and interpreting it just brilliantly. All we wanted was a space that our people would think was cool and fun to work in, our clients would see as a ‘real’ agency and that our sister agencies would be upset they didn’t have. Scored on all criteria. Monika and Ali we really easy to work with and accommodated all of our second thoughts along the way. I wish we had used them last time and we may not have had to move twice in the first place.”