When the Sydney branch of Swedish-based company OM Technology outgrew their old premises, they wanted their new offices to reflect the international nature of the company with a contemporary Swedish look blended with an Australian influence. As a company who develops solutions and software for efficient trading on the world’s financial, energy and commodity markets, the design also needed to convey progressive attitudes and inspire the confidence of the firm’s clients and staff.
Katherine Lakis, project architect and designer from MSJ Architects said, “An open-plan layout for the office reflected the egalitarian approach to workplace relations shared by Sweden and Australia, and to maximise water views from work and reception areas. Only the boardroom is totally enclosed for acoustic privacy.”
The Scandinavian feel was carried through the interior design of OM’s offices, using pale timbers, clear, opaque and semi-opaque glass, and whites in matt and full gloss finishes. These were contrasted with light and dark red and eggplant coloured suede panels to add a more Australian touch to the interior.
Presenting a high quality finish in client areas was an important part of the project, given the company’s involvement in the financial industry. A two x two metre illuminated screen wall made from Marblo and engraved with the company logo seemed like the perfect way to make a strong branding statement in the reception area, but the execution proved a little less straightforward. “It was a difficult piece to manufacture, transport and install. We had to modify the design to address the limits of laser cutting equipment, weight and installation issues and even the size and car capacity of the access lift,” Katherine said.
With an extremely tight project timetable, the MSJ team faced the challenge of ensuring the new offices were up and running and the staff relocated in less than six months. An added complication was that because OM works with international stock exchanges, the company’s flight deck area had to be operational 24 hours a day.
“The program was fast tracked in that the computer room was built and handed over first so that work on the racks and computer equipment by OM personnel could commence and be complete for the project handover date,” Katherine said.
In pulling the whole project together with an impressive result, Katherine pays tribute to project manager Susan Douglas: “A good project is always the result of having a good client and project manager. We found OM and Susan Douglas excellent to work with, and we believe this is reflected in the result.”
Client: OM Technology
Location: Level 31, AAP Centre, 259 George St Sydney
Project Manager: Susan Douglas
Architects/designers: MSJ Architects (Mark Willett, Director in Charge; Katherine Lakis, Project Architect and Designer)
Contractors: Isis Constructions