TNS Melbourne

We have been fortunate to work with the WPP research company TNS for some time and have now completed head office projects for Sydney, Perth and now Melbourne. When their Melbourne relocation project was announced the brief was to, of course, continue down the ‘Activity Based Working’ model functionally whilst bringing in the aesthetic flavours of the other locations.

The building itself was unlike other TNS buildings and was located within the original Rosella Factory in Richmond Cremorne. The project involved the transformation of an existing mechanics workshop to a commercial office and consequently a considerable amount of base building refurbishment work. The space was incredible, with over four metre open ceilings and large grid like windows amongst a factory style façade. It was critical to work alongside the base building refurbishment works to fully benefit the interior in relation to floors and ceilings. We were excited by the possibilities.

The Brief from TNS was to provide a collaborative environment for staff and clients and to reflect the companies ethos to embrace ‘ABW’. It was a requirement to benefit from the large open entry and allow for visitors to seamlessly enter meeting spaces without the need to traipse through the work environment. A suite of small meeting spaces and the boardroom hugged the front facing area as the open workplace environment sat against the line of the large perimeter apertures to benefit from the natural light.

The reception desk itself was manufactured from reclaimed timber and the feature brick wall behind was faced with recycled bricks removed within the base building works. The original concrete floors of the workshop were buffed and polished but still maintained their gritty history. TNS had been adamant from the beginning  to benefit from the high ceilings so the services were designed around this requirement and the built environment was to float. The high ceilings were blackened and industrial style high bay pendant fittings were installed.

The small meeting spaces provided a ‘pop’ of colour drawing on furniture and finishes inspired by their first Sydney office. Black framing and barn style doors to the meetings spaces tied into aesthetic and provided a more subtle backdrop from the bursts of colour within each room. Behind the large block of built environment a bank of lockers were neatly hidden as an essential ingredient for the new model of working for TNS.


Large bench like team tables were finished in a timber laminate and edged in black to sit with the more industrial aesthetic. Planting and other decorative pendant lights broke up the workplace and provided a more interesting landscape.

Two booth spaces were designed towards the back end of the interior to be used as both meeting and working spaces. It was paramount that the booths had been designed to enable a dual function and could be acoustically separated from the general open workplace beyond.


The café space was delineated by a decorative screen that enclosed the environment acoustically but still connected transparently with the open office. Again, some of the elements used in the Sydney office were embraced here such as the large communal table with ottomans. This space was to be used by the team for interactive ‘town halls’ and client functions. A variety of seating such as the small two person high benches and the banquette seating enabled the space to be transformed. Chacoal grey felted wools, reclaimed timber furniture together with the concrete floor helped to enhance the industrial aesthetic. Small quiet rooms nestled amongst the café environment to help activate the space and provide dual purpose.

The outcome for TNS has been to successfully embrace Activity Based Working in Melbourne and to educate the team to move around their workplace to enhance their productivity and encourage collaboration. TNS are striving to continue this workplace model across Australia.