2015 Dulux Colour Awards Shortlist
We were engaged by Mi9 to refit their existing office space at Australia Square with the aim of increasing the profile of the company core values for both staff and visitors alike. Drawing on the company manifesto, we extracted the key core values of ‘Humble’, ‘Brave’, ‘Give a Shit’ and ‘Smart’ and collaborated with local street artists to reference them throughout the space. The client wanted us to explore the idea of old and new technologies which we translated in a number of different ways which predominantly looked to juxtaposition and contrast as design elements.
The reception was located on level 6 which was to retain lofty heritage ceilings originally planned by Harry Seidler. As part of the fitout, we gave the ceiling a face lift by re-lamping the lights to brighten the floor and highlight the white modernist ceiling. We then worked with the existing structural elements, giving them an post-modernist aesthetic and providing them with awnings to highlight the contrast between the base building and new fitout.
Being a round building, the space was a challenge to plan but we overcame this by working with the client to eliminate hierarchy and deliver an open plan environment. We managed to utilise much of the existing structure to provide a variety of meeting rooms throughout the floor. We also created a number of informal settings so that the workstations were broken up, creating a rich composition of areas.
Level 7 was a similar formula to Level 6 however there was no heritage ceiling. Instead, we referenced the floor below by revealing the building structure above the large communal breakout area by removing the ceiling. The use of juxtaposing materials and street graphics referencing the company manifesto continued on Level 7 to maintain consistency across the floors.
Our design honoured the base building and its heritage features. It became an asset rather than hinderance to our design solution. This included re-lamping the heritage ceiling on Level 6 to energy efficient globes and upgrading the bathrooms. Including this scope of work made sense as the base building was significant to begin with and as stated would be a great feature for our client. By honouring the site and upgrading it where we could, we provided the opportunity for part of this fitout to live beyond the years of its current tenancy.
The new lighting made the space much brighter, as did the use of white paint to bounce light through the space. Partition-less bench style workstations and an open plan setting also aided the light on the floor. Additionally we provided staff with their own energy efficient task lighting as to make it a more comfortable and sustainable environment for them to work in. The bench style workstations will provide our client with the room to grow as more staff can fit along each length of bench.
Much of the built environment was existing so we eliminated the need for unnecessary demolition and construction and reused as much of the finishes and furniture that we could that was still functional and in keeping with the design concept, which lent itself to re-use as contrast and juxtaposition would play a key role.
Our material selections were locally sourced where possible and we also made use of reclaimed materials, including timber sleepers at the reception. We collaborated with local street artists to create engaging graphics through the floors. This type of collaboration is important for economic sustainability within the local context of Sydney. The client pursued the street artists for further work as they wanted to strengthen their manifesto branding.
“I can’t say enough good things about The Bold Collective’s professionalism as well as their ability to deliver on our brief. They listened patiently to all our requirements, were incredibly responsive and took our vision for our workplace further than we’d imagined. They were quick to turn our ideas into incredibly creative spaces, and were a pleasure to work with. We were intent on giving our people a great place to work which feels like their own, and The Bold Collective helped us do just that. Our staff now have a workplace they can be proud of, where they can work in an even more collaborative way that also reflects our common values. I wouldn’t hesitate to call on them again for another project.
Mi9 – Chief Information Officer