CHT Architects’ Craftworks project seeks to cultivate a creative ecosystem, in which occupants and locals share ideas, spaces and a philosophy reminiscent of true community.
Located in Abbotsford, Craftworks consolidates culture, amenity, convenience and lifestyle under the one roof. 10,000 sqm of office space sits within the building, as well as an exhibition space, theatre, creative hub, rooftop veggie garden (with chickens, no less), a ground level cafe and wellness and allied health facilities.
“We’ve designed the building to provide multiple layers of experience. This will appeal to businesses looking to attract the best-quality staff and offer a dynamic environment in which their staff can excel,” says CHT Architects Founder David Carabott.
“It has a wide variety of spaces, so if you want to work in the ground-floor café space, or you want to have a client meeting on the rooftop, you can. The building’s state-of-the-art wellness centre provides direct access to the Yarra trail – for runs and bike rides – fostering further opportunities for occupants to enhance their health and wellbeing.
“We’ve really focused on end-of-journey facilities to encourage human and planetary health, such as including showers and 140 bike racks, so people can enjoy a scenic and eco-friendly riverside ride to work, and then shower and store their bike safely for the day.”
Carabott says Craftworks was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, to support and encourage collaborative thinking.
“Craftworks is designed to be a collective, with opportunities to interconnect and network on every level via a thoughtfully arranged internal design that maximises natural light and visual connectivity. It will become an ecosystem of its own in which tenants share ideas, inspiration and momentum.
“So, for example, the building’s gallery area will be available for displaying creations from local artisans, while the 80-seat theatre, rooftop terrace, lounge and meeting spaces can all be used by local community groups.”
Carabott’s passion for permaculture farming has resulted in the use of sustainable materials and energy attributes, including solar panelling and a genuine farm ecosystem, with a rooftop orchard and veggie garden, chickens, café-food-scrap recycling/composting and even beehives.
“I love the idea of tenants tending to the rooftop chooks and gardens, creating food such as fruit, vegetables and eggs for the ground-floor café and local residents,” David said. “For tenants, this will bring a meaningful human connection to nature and the building that is often missing in the corporate work environment.
“We wanted to deliver a project that fostered community connection, as well as the physical and mental wellbeing of everyone who interacts with the building.”