DesignInc’s new design studio was delivered as an integrated fit-out into the heritage listed Melbourne GPO Building.

DesignInc states that its core mission as designers is to deliver healthy spaces for people. Through utilising reused and recycled materials in its own fit-out, the firm was able to not just minimise resource consumption, but also maximise good air quality.

As a heritage listed building, GPO had not been intentionally designed to engage with the climate. The new fit-out takes advantage of the high thermal mass of the walls and the existing building qualities so as to enhance the occupant’s comfort, while reducing operational energy and water requirements.

Throughout the fit-out, DesignInc used reclaimed furniture, industrial column lighting and generous amounts of internal planting to generate a domestic scale. Operable mixed mode windows, combined with a large wall projection of nature and street life, further increased the natural experience the firm was wanting.


  • Reclaimed furniture, industrial column lighting and generous amounts of internal planting generate a domestic scale and improved indoor air quality (IAQ).
  • The ‘recycled’ theme continues throughout the fit-out with the majority of cladding, new furniture and joinery constructed from recycled materials or sourced second hand. Workstations, mobile pedestals, task chairs, white laminate joinery, filing cabinets, servers and electronics were re-used from DesignInc’s previous tenancy.
  • The mixed mode operable windows were linked to new Fan Coil Units that automatically turn off when the windows are opened.
  • The Fan Coil Units target 22 degrees however the comfort range was expanded to 19-24 degrees in order to reduce the need for mechanical air conditioning.
  • Existing thermal mass was left exposed to help stabilise internal temperatures.

Images: Trevor Mein.