Bent Architecture’s Melrose Health project involved the transformation of a mundane, unresponsive office building into the dynamic new headquarters for Melrose Health, a national health company in Melbourne.
The Melrose brand represents an ideology of whole body health, where nature is harnessed to promote well-being, and they required a workplace that did the same. The existing two storey office was a typically unhealthy, soulless, refrigerated box, disconnected from the outside and from the warehouse and production facility. In Bent’s view, a healthy office is one that is responsive to the natural environment and engaged with the process within.
In order to facilitate an immediate and meaningful connection between the office and its surrounds, the north facing street façade was eroded by introducing an organic steel structure that literally connected the site's landscape to the building fabric.
Part sun-shade and part landscape arbour, the structure supports vines that liberate the existing north facing windows that would otherwise cower from hot summer sun. This, in combination with openable windows that were inserted to allow natural ventilation, reducing the building's energy dependence supporting a healthier work environment.
Modular garden-beds and joinery components comprising recycled materials and building off-cuts were inserted to define a flexible workplace. Recycled and EO rated timber products were used extensively; crafted to minimise material wastage and the building contractor was obligated to separate waste and recycle wherever possible to reduce landfill. The plants were selected for their ability to survive without the need for chemical fertilisers, in keeping with the sustainable objectives of the company.
This project demonstrated that typically mundane and static office/warehouse buildings (typical in the industrial estates of outer Melbourne) can be successfully transformed into environmentally responsive and engaging workplaces which fuse warehouse, administration and landscape into one cohesive whole.
- The street façade of the existing two storey office block was eroded via the introduction of an organic tubular steel structure that literally connects the site's landscape to the building fabric
- Part sun-shade and part landscape arbour, the structure liberates existing north facing windows that would otherwise cower from hot summer sun, and provides a conduit for greenery to permeate the office interior, enlivening the workplace whilst defining diverse spatial zones, including co-working areas, quiet spaces and collaborative 'landscaped' breakout zones
- Existing ceiling tiles were repainted and the original warehouse concrete floor was exposed; a section of floor on the upper level was removed to provide a transparency and connectivity between levels, further enlivening the workplace
- The division between office and warehouse was also eroded, with full height openings inserted to provide a more immediate connection between the various operations of the company
- Warehouse racking permeates the interior to strengthen the link between the two zones and supports additional planter boxes and showcases the Melrose product range
- The racking and merchandise extend dramatically into the foyer, which is a light filled double height entrance hall that is programmatically and spatially diverse
- The original warehouse floor was once again exposed, and timber lined terraces, a centrally located weeping fig, climbing vines and natural sunlight define a space that, on entry, embodies the ethos of the company, the products it creates and the benefits of harnessing nature to promote good health
WALL FIXED SHELVING SYSTEM
DEXION DANDENONG, OFF-THE-SHELF SYSTEM
SUSPENDED CEILING SHELVING SYSTEM
DEXION DANDENONG, OFF-THE-SHELF SYSTEM
BLACK KNITTED NYLON NETTING
OXLEY NETS, LOCAL SUPPLIER
RECYCLED SAWTOOTH LINING BOARDS
URBAN SALVAGE, RECYCLED MESSMATE
LASERCUT PLYWOOD SIGNAGE
CITYWIDE SIGNS, LOCAL SUPPLIER
SURFACE MOUNTED LIGHT FITTING
CUSTOM LIGHTING, LED LIGHT FITTING
ABOVE LEFT, "GREEN" PRODUCT
WATER-BASED POLYURETHANE WITH PIGMENT
SIKA AUSTRALIA, WATER-BASED PRODUCT
LAMINATE FINISH ON BIRCH PLY SUBSTRATE
LAMINEX, ECO RATED PLY
RECYCLED CARPET OFFCUT PIN BOARDS
ABOVE LEFT, RECYCLING OFF-CUTS FROM SITE TO MINIMISE WASTE
HORIZONTAL SASHLESS-SLIDING WINDOWS
ANEETA WINDOWS, DOUBLE GLAZED OPENABLE WINDOWS
SUSPENDED LIGHT FITTING
LASER LIGHTING, LED LIGHT FITTING
ARKYS WIRE MEETING CHAIR
FORM + FUNCTION, LOCAL SUPPLIER
BREEZEWAY, OPENABLE WINDOWS
MEETING TABLE AND CHAIRS
LIFE SPACE JOURNEY, LOCAL SUPPLIER USING LOCALLY SOURCED AND RECLAIMED TIMBER
DELI SWIVEL BASE CHAIR
KFIVE, LOCAL SUPPLIER
BAR STOOL AND TABLE
SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH, LOCAL SUPPLIER
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PLANTING