This project involved the renovation to the rear of an existing office space in the old Rosella factory in Richmond. Sustainable practices of adaptation and re-use were important, along with notions of sustainable working practices for the staff.

MAKE Architecture notes that re-configuring the existing space was naturally more challenging than designing within an empty site, but this presented interesting opportunities and constraints. The challenge was to provide spaces that were flexible that could adapt over time with the needs of the agency ultimately giving the builder a longer lifecycle and spaces that can be recycled.

The design was conceived as spaces that support the changing needs of employees, whether it be small and casual discussions between staff or larger meetings. Another key challenge was in creating spaces that could be intimate, without being the more traditional office space that is closed off to its surrounds by walls.

The dis-used warehouse space has been transformed into informal breakout spaces and a larger meeting / presentation space has been added. This design encourages a less formal way of working with benches and seats lining the perimeter of the space looking out to the street and the existing plane trees.

Key initiatives:

  • Breakout spaces encourage staff to take active breaks, promoting greaterbalance
  • An adaptive re-use project where the existing warehouse is largely kept intact
  • Recycled timber used throughout
  • Veneer – FSC certified and particle board is FSC particleboard (low VOC)
  • Access to natural light and air
  • User operability encouraged to control temperature and light
  • Led lighting
  • Sustainable work practices encouraged with space to get away from your desk and take a break
  • The idea of a more fluid, flexible workspace was an important factor to help encourage alternative modes of working.

Photography by Peter Bennetts