All posts by dev

Taylor Cullity Lethlean


Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) is a Melbourne- and Adelaide-based landscape architecture and urban design studio passionate about the poetic expression of landscape and contemporary culture. This has permeated its design work in a multiplicity of public settings, from urban waterfronts to desert walking trails. In each case, the detailed exploration of context, site and community have informed outcomes and enriched the patterning and detail of built landscapes.

Four streams of investigation inform the practice’s work: contemporary urban life and global culture; the elemental power of site and landscape; artistic practice in a range of disciplines; and the creation of a sustainable future. TCL brings exceptional skills and experience in the design of public space environments. Its Directors are landscape architects and urban design leaders in their field, with a long-standing emphasis on places of cultural significance.

Perry Lethlean, Kate Cullity, Scott Adams, Damian Schultz and Lisa Howard each bring different disciplines and skills to the firm. Along with a shared background in landscape architecture, Kate is trained in botany and visual arts, Perry in urban design, Damian in cultural institutions and experiences, Lisa has extensive expertise in educational design and Scott is renowned for his infrastructural experience.

To each project, TCL brings robust and meaningful visions (developing master plans and conceptual designs that respond to their context and provide compelling visions for the future); a collaborative approach (with clients, stakeholders and communities); an ecological base (working creatively with environmentally sustainable principles); sustainable communities and economies (maintaining a strong community development focus and valuing collaboration with Traditional Owners, as well as targeting sustainable economic outcomes for clients); research (through a dedicated research arm, which speculates on the future of landscape architecture and urban design); and cultural interpretation (in consideration of environmental and cultural history, as well as contemporary life).

Through bringing together diverse thinking, TCL can creatively respond to projects and achieve unexpected outcomes. Importantly, TCL has brought creativity, contemporary design thinking and a touch of the poetic to its projects and created memorable environments that have enhanced the social, cultural, environmental and economic lives of the communities in which it has worked.

Photography: Kris Paulsen, John Gollings, Massimo Combi



studioplusthree is an architecture practice based in Sydney, working across architectural, arts and cultural projects. Founded by Directors Simon Rochowski, Julin Ang and Joseph Byrne, the studio has established itself as a multidisciplinary practice, with output ranging from sound art installations and furniture design to exhibitions and architectural works.

studioplusthree is interested in exploring the intersection between craft and innovation through the making of physical objects and space. The studio has built a reputation for work that is experiential, unconventional and refined, blending technical resolution with atmospheric evocation. Pursuing the integration of innovation and craft, the studio’s process sees it collaborate outside of traditional allied disciplines, from boat builders and weaponologists to sound artists and archaeologists. The realisation of its work celebrates both high and low technology, constructed via (for example) tube lasers, flamethrowers and digital virtual worlds.

The studio draws on its background of working with leading studios and institutions both in Australia and overseas. Previous experience working with organisations such as Heatherwick Studio and the V&A Museum have contributed to the studio’s knowledge in working with its own clients, such as the British Museum, the Powerhouse Museum and the University of Sydney, as well as individuals and families around Australia.

studioplusthree is interested in the use of projects as tools for exploring the social and sensory relationships between people and spaces. Drawing on a background of performing and visual arts, the studio pursues a collaborative design process that uses this experience to question assumed approaches and distinctions. The celebration of raw materiality is a theme throughout the studio’s work.

The emotional and sensory experience is a key driver of studioplusthree’s design process. Ultimately, the studio sees its work as being in a cyclical relationship between tradition and innovation, with each project negotiating a path between research and realisation.

Photography: Brett Boardman, Tom Ferguson, Ben Hosking, Noel Mclaughlin, studioplusthree

Russell & George


Russell & George is an internationally recognised and award-winning design practice employing architects, designers, theorists, strategists and urbanists. The Melbourne-based studio believes in good design as problem solving – in spaces, buildings and cities that improve the way we live and work. Russell & George believes in efficiency in delivery and design that responds to site and social context, wherever that may be.

The studio has completed projects on four continents, in cities as diverse as New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto and Rome. This is in addition to projects in New Zealand and five Australian states. The studio works with some of the world’s most dynamic brands, leaders, institutions and individuals creating unique works that push, challenge and evolve clients’ businesses as well as the way they live.

Russell & George brings its experience in environment reinvention to all projects. It offers a holistic, full-service approach to spatial design that looks at all aspects of a business or client, and designs spaces that are individually tailored to each individual or organisation. Its projects are as diverse as its clients, and the studio approaches every project without preconceived ideas about what a client’s spatial proposition should be like. The studio prides itself on being an example to the industry with its sustainability initiatives, both internally and in practice, and strives to grow staff into the best professional versions of themselves.

In 2018, Russell & George completed Space & Time, a project which not only houses the studio but speaks about its vision of the future of workspace – a future that allows for rapid transformation in the type of work dependent on the time of day. The workplace celebrates a hybrid model for how design businesses can operate, moving beyond a pure service model into fields of hospitality, retail, and ultimately as an incubator for ideas and experimentation.

Photography: Paul Martin, Dianna Snape

RAW Architecture – Realrich Architecture Workshop


RAW Architecture is a Jakarta-based architectural firm founded by Realrich Sjarief and consisting of two laboratories: the DOT Workshop, which focuses on construction research, and OMAH Library, a research group and a public library that holds approximately 1,500 architectural volumes and hosts periodical public events on contemporary architectural discourse.

The practice operates based on the Javanese concept of suwung, which translates to ‘emptiness’. It means the state of freedom from preconception and ego, which is used to obtain (paradoxically) a totality. Three principles to this concept are: memayu hawaning bawana (bringing beauty and peace to one’s world), mangganing kawula gusti (believing in something greater than oneself), and Sangkan Paraning Dumadi (having consciousness of one’s role in the universe).

This is expressed in the formation of the studio, which exists in harmony with a critical approach to nature and technical aspects. The approach manifests in studio’s concept of The Guild – which is a home, and a semi-public library, and a place where RAW Architecture can share knowledge with everyone.

As a practice, RAW Architecture approaches each project with ideas exploration to develop stereotomy and technical aspects of the building, as well as historical studies and case studies in achieving tectonics. An experimental approach to architecture and material is explored through RAW Architecture’s projects, and by making their own studio the test-bed of design and construction. Therefore, the Alfa Omega School project, and the studio itself – The Guild – are in a state of perpetual reinvention.

In answering the contemporary question of finding the spirit of modern Indonesian architecture, RAW Architecture is actively exploring traditional as well as genuine poetic objects as archetypal inspirations to be tested into their projects. Through observation, reading and self-evaluation, RAW Architecture and OMAH Library has published numerous articles and books which contributes to the discussion of the architecture profession. RAW Architecture also provides annual fellowships to more than 50 students from South-East Asia to intern in the studio.

Photography: Eric Dinardi, Realrich Sjarief

LAAB Architects

Hong Kong

LAAB is a collective of 35 architects, artists, designers, engineers, makers and sociologists specialising in spatial innovations. The studio was co-founded by Otto Ng and Chun Hang Yip in 2013 in Hong Kong, with the vision of incubating a laboratory that bridges the separate fields of art and architecture, hence the two As in the studio’s name.

The team’s diversity is central to the range of work achieved. From everyday objects to art installations, from architecture and interior to public space and community engagement, LAAB believes that spatial innovations occur at the intersections of disciplines – when architects think sociologically, when sociologists question urban design, and when engineers challenge designers. Because of this team diversity, LAAB was able to design a food kiosk that moves (Harbour Kiosk), a café that preserves collective memory (T · CAFÉ), and a shopping space built with digital craftsmanship (K11 MUSEA).

Rather than adhering to a specific design paradigm, LAAB’s approach to architecture is driven by the process of making, guided by narratives of a place, and born out of deep respect for the natural environment and cultural contexts. Digital craftsmanship – a unique blend of digital technology and traditional craftsmanship – is vital to the studio culture and innovation process. The team’s unique composition is a breeding ground for new ideas, giving linguistic form to material innovations and situating them within each project context.

LAAB believes that spatial innovation is born out of pragmatism. The minds (design) and hands (making) are equally important in driving the creative process. Each team member is a maker, and this maker spirit is enabled and sustained by the studio’s design, which includes an open, collaborative studio space, a fabLAAB (fabrication lab), a matLAAB (material library), a prototypeLAAB (prototype exhibition space), and a gallery space where models are exhibited.

Photography; HENRY T.C., Otto Ng

Interval Architects


Interval Architects is an award-winning Shanghai-based architecture design practice co-founded by Oscar Ko and Gu Yunduan. The practice critically examines issues relating to urbanism, architecture and the environment. The founders believe that architecture should possess qualities that reflect the specificities of its context and become a spatial production that belongs to a certain place and time.

While the speed of development has been incredible and unstoppable in China, Interval Architects aim to slow down and develop a critical attitude to evaluate the built environment. The studio’s goal is to search for the identity of contemporary Chinese architecture in this operative process. Interval Architects contemplate the fundamental question of what ‘Chinese-ness’ is in the realm of contemporary architecture and urbanism.

The practice engages in both the urban and rural contexts of China. Regardless of where the projects are, the belief is that architecture should possess qualities that reflect its context and belong to its place and time. Site is thus perceived as a craft, a methodology and an attitude. Site is more than a physical boundary, but rather is interpreted as a reaction to climate, environment, geography, history, psychology, scale, genius loci, materiality and the human behaviour associated with places.

It is these elements from which Interval Architects begin to formulate design strategies and develop concepts into coherent designs that belong to a specific place. The creation of a sense of place and people’s association with it is what the studio aims to ‘craft’ as architecture.

Interval Architects’ partners and staff are actively involved in both academia and practice. The practice believes that teaching, research and practice mutually benefit and complement each other. Alongside practice, the studio has conducted research and teaching on several urban issues such as urban residual space along Suzhou Creek, and the post-industrial adaptive re-use of Yangshupu Power Station.

Photography: Zhi Geng

Foolscap Studio


Founded in 2009 by Director Adèle Winteridge, Melbourne-based Foolscap Studio is an independent, cross-disciplinary design practice centred around the built environment and interior architecture at all scales. The passionate team comprises design and brand strategists, architects, designers and interior architects, all working together toward a collective mission: to develop places that bring people together and contribute to an environment’s identity.

Foolscap Studio works closely with its clients to conceive and deliver commercial, hospitality, residential and public domain projects. Ranging from retail and food experiences through to public activation, workplace and macro precinct strategies, the diverse portfolio of works showcases the studio’s capacity to deliver designs that tell a story of space, place and identity. Sustainable, human-centred design is at the forefront of each spatial experience the studio delivers.

Rigorous research techniques and fearless experimentation form the backbone of innovative processes, culminating in unique and captivating outcomes for clients. Foolscap Studio often works at the intersection of typologies, bringing hospitality design principles into residential projects, home comforts into workplace, theatre into retail – and sometimes a healthy dose of everything rolled into one. By doing so, the aim is to challenge perceptions and interrogate the norms of what social spaces can offer people in the future.

Documentarian Norm Stahl defined his ‘Foolscap Method’ as “a way to get a big project started”, using a single sheet of the imperial-sized paper to “hold the outline of an entire novel”. Channeling this same methodology, the focus of Foolscap Studio is a complete, beginning-to-end journey. The work therefore isn’t defined by a particular aesthetic, but instead a deep investigation into narratives surrounding the client’s identity, their clients and end-users – and the needs of the broader community.

Entering into its second decade, Foolscap Studio continues to design emotionally powerful spaces that surprise and delight. The studio interweaves concepts and aesthetics with depth and personality, making spaces feel old, new and timeless all at once.

Photography: Penny Lane, Tom Blachford, Willem Dirk du Toit

Cera Stribley


Cera Stribley is a respected, renowned design-focused architecture and interior design practice with an intent to create meaningful relationships in all it does. The studio strives to explore connections between form and void, internal and external, and with environments, in an ongoing pursuit of honest and uncomplicated architecture. For Cera Stribley, architecture is a tool for bettering our lives. It should be aesthetically timeless, bear a strong sense of quality in materiality, and have considered meaning beyond its physical attributes.

A welcoming and friendly studio environment is critical to ensuring the design process is collaborative and enjoyable. Cera Stribley firmly believes that the most successful projects are derived from a collaborative approach that allows all employees, regardless of role or profession, to contribute to the design narrative. Workplace diversity is encouraged, as is social interaction beyond the four walls of the practice. Workplace comradery is at the core of company values.

Cera Stribley’s approach always begins with deep investigations into a site’s physical context, its planning and legislative regulations, its social and cultural heritage and aligning this with an exploration of site possibilities. The practice strives to create meaningful relationships through its work, with concepts that are vitally connected to their surroundings and the brief. The concept then can inform each design element throughout the process, creating a well considered, holistic and contextual design response.

People are often surprised to hear that the studio is only six years old, as it has grown to a team of 40-plus architects, technicians and interior designers. Says Cera Stribley: “It is difficult sometimes to keep the business successful and keep your team happy as the business grows and changes, however we have somehow managed to keep a great positive vibe… We have a high staff retention rate for a firm our size, and we do as much as we can to encourage, mentor, train and develop the careers of those who work with us.”

Photography: Emily Bartlett Photography

Biasol Studio


Biasol (be-are-zoul) is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Melbourne. With a focus on the design of interior spaces, building typologies, products and branded environments, Biasol works collaboratively with Australian and international clients to realise spaces and experiences that merge the intricacies of design to elicit outcomes that engage both physically and emotionally.

Biasol was established in 2012 by Jean-Pierre Biasol, whose Italian heritage and broader European educational influences nurtured a resonance and respect for the naturally diverse working processes common within European design practices. The Biasol approach draws on many complementary disciplines to create experiences that surpass expectation, harnessing intuitive, beautiful and highly engaging environments, products and brands.

Biasol has a strong belief of designing without disciplinary division – conceiving the design as one, right from the very beginning. Biasol seeks an open dialogue between designers from different disciplines to ultimately eschew division and encourage design integrity. Design for Biasol is about respecting the journey – as a team and with clients – to produce something better and to constantly challenge what and why things are being done. The studio is constantly learning from all its design outcomes across all our project typologies to see how it can continuously blur the lines between residential, retail, hospitality and commercial projects.

Each project brief begins with the establishment of a strong foundation and the articulation of clear intentions. The convergence of ideas, methods and processes is fostered to deliver projects that are richly layered and highly successful. The consistent delivery of projects that achieve design excellence and globally relevant appeal is imbedded in the knowledge that good design has the ability to evolve businesses, enhance lives and ignite passion.

Photography:Derek Swalwell, Handover


Thailand and Indonesia

In 2020, BENSLEY Design Studios will be celebrating its thirty-year anniversary – a number hard to believe as the studio remains ever youthful and innovative. In these 30 years, BENSLEY has designed over 200 projects all over the world, from hotels to royal palaces, with a focus on pushing the boundaries of design and hospitality.

Among these pioneering projects was the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai – a low-impact, high-yield model that rescued elephants from the streets of Bangkok and took them to the mountains of northern Thailand. At the JW Marriott Phu Quoc, the studio brought an abandoned university campus back to life. The award-winning Capella Ubud in Bali also followed the studio’s philosophy of minimal impact, saving a beautiful forest valley from becoming a 120-room hotel; instead creating a 24-tent camp that tiptoes ever so softly on the land.

In recent years, the emphasis has turned entirely to projects with meaning. The company, with offices in Bangkok and Bali, now seeks only to make hotels with a positive impact, such as WorldWild – a 700-hectare wildlife refuge in China where 90 per cent of the land is dedicated to naturalised wildlife environments and just 10 per cent to the seven hotels and 2,500 rooms.

Bill Bensley’s most recent achievement was the release of his white paper, ‘Sensible Sustainable Solutions’, where he shares BENSLEY’s standards with all hotel companies in the hope that they will slip it into their own hotel standards. It is an archive of lessons and ideas in hotel design, purpose and sustainability.

BENSLEY has carved out a niche in sustainable design – no longer focused on just making pretty hotels, instead creating hotels that preserve landscapes, reintroduce and protect rare species of animals, or care for people in need by way of education, medical care and agriculture. The studio works with the standard of the three Es: Education, Experience and Environment. The studio believes every hotel in the world can practice sustainable solutions, and using the resources it has, spread the good throughout its community, often transforming it.

Photography: Krishna Adithya

Alexander &CO.


A multidisciplinary design practice with a global reach, Alexander &CO. believes in the spirit of place. The studio’s capabilities span a broad range of typological sectors, and all facets of spatial and brand design. Its technical skill base includes architecture, interior design, project management, styling, branding and master planning. At the core of its DNA is the ambition to create timeless, market-leading design.

Alexander &CO. provides a client journey that is focused on highly effective relationships and outcomes. Its people and culture are recognised by an empathic, social and team-focused communication. Transparency and openness, its bedrock and structures, are built around effectively providing goal-focused individual growth, support and security.

The studio acknowledges its role to contribute positively and sustainably within the shared global village. With enterprising leadership, the team believes in its ability to provide greater outcomes for its clients, as well as opportunities for cultural growth, connections and contribution.

The studio is underpinned by a charter that fosters a long term, sustainable, ‘infinite game’ mandate toward its people, environment and projects. Its project practices normalise environmental sustainability, including carbon neutrality, sustainable energy, removal of plastic and volatile product use. Its project philosophy focuses on the need to establish handmade, craft-focused and traditional manufacturing structures around contemporary architecture and design thinking.

The company works to a core value of equality, collaboration and the commitment to share abundance. Long-term initiatives have been established to co-op the studio’s people, whilst building a focus on decolonising business practices to better provide shared capital and support networks. This is more than profit share; this is resource share, support and community collaboration. Alexander &CO.’s vision for the future articulates an industry and workplace of equal opportunity, which advocates for female practitioners, young creatives and marginalised members.

Photography: Anson Smart, Felix Forest, Tom Ferguson

AIRLAB Singapore: Architectural Intelligence Research Lab


AIRLAB (Architectural Intelligence Research Lab) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory that works in the intersection between architecture, arts and digital design and manufacturing. AIRLAB uses advanced manufacturing technologies (AM) to work with raw materials like steel, concrete and plastics for architectural constructions. It explores the use of new technologies as part of seamless workflows from ideation to fabrication. Its Singapore Director is Carlos Banon. Its Chile Director is Felix Raspall.

AIRLAB’s ambition is to achieve more efficient, adaptable, versatile and lighter products by introducing new technologies like 3D printing and digital manufacturing. AIRLAB targets zero-wastage in construction, by using additive manufacturing in functional components. AIRLAB explores new, meaningful ways to utilise the 3D-printed systems to increase sustainability and efficiency (to shorten development and assembly time) and introduce new typologies with the potential for adoption.

The lab is capable of developing an entire workflow to make a design happen. AIRLAB codes its own algorithms for the design and fabrication of its ideas. Most components are printed in a precise and fine manner, allowing tolerances of less than a millimetre – a feat that is more common in aerospace and rarely seen in the architectural industry. This minimises errors in construction as the design and fabrication processes are completely digital and almost fully automated. For the assembly stage, a clear step-by-step sequence is automatically generated by AIRLAB’s software, which requires no specific training to execute, and which creates a positive experience.

Using 3D printing in construction is still a rare practice in the world. AIRLAB has acquired deep expertise over the last five years and gained traction internationally. Starting locally with partners like JTC, HDB and Keppel Land, the lab’s Directors believe that they can soon go out and pitch new projects regionally or globally using 3D printing. AIRLAB will also continue to push the envelope as 3D printing costs drop steadily in the future, which can then generate even more mainstream traction.

Photography: Carlos Banon, Fabian Ong

Treasury Wine Estates Melbourne


The new workplace for global heritage wine brand Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) is true example of blurred typologies coming to life. Taking up residence in an iconic Melbourne tower, the company needed a workplace to accommodate its exponential growth through articulate planning to help break down silos for greater productivity and collaboration. But as a company with hospitality at its core, the new office presented the perfect opportunity to create a space for entertaining and enriching through spaces designed for eating and drinking.

A top-end-of-Collins Street relocation held ample appeal for TWE management and staff, but the new headquarters needed to address the previous premises’ shortcomings. The brief was threefold: craft a compelling and genuine brand experience for visitors, maximise planning efficiencies, and design with sociability in mind. The generous and meticulously finished arrival lounge now captures a confident interface with customers and guests. Solid timber, polished concrete, masonry and corrugated iron are honest and welcoming materials – reminders the company has “one foot in the vineyard” without resorting to pastiche.

Previously, several hundred staff worked side-by-side in a vast, linear program, which made interactivity haphazard and weakened team efforts. The new fitout addresses ergonomics with standing desk options now available to all staff. A highly visible new staff kitchen/café is a place of perennial welcome, which is filled with greenery and flooded with natural light from a central void. Table, banquette and huddle-style seating caters to different breakout modes, embedding the company’s appetite for fostering employee wellbeing and connection.

TWE’s new head office illustrates design’s persuasive power. Creating an inspiring place to work, the HQ succeeds in communicating the essence and ambition of the brand. Through workplace strategy, the project deeply understands the client’s needs, integrating new requirements into the fitout, future-proofing it for years to come. Breaking down silos was critical. As such, hosting areas are large and brooding, while the adjacent open plan work areas are brightly lit with meandering desk configurations that improve incidental employee interaction. Despite the contrast between these zones, all areas in the new workplace underscore the importance of sociability.

Furniture: Sean Dix, Andreu World (Zenith); Studio Pip, Simon James Design, Resident, Mattiazi (District); Wilkhahn; Humanscale; ESO (Stylecraft). Finishes: Dulux; Echopanel (Woven Image); Tarkett (RC+D); Polytec, Laminex; Signorino; Caesarstone (Artedomus); Havwoods; Otto Flooring (George Fethers); Kvadrat; Instyle. Fittings & Fixtures: Siemens, Ilve Electric, Fisher & Paykel, Phoenix, Vintec (Harvey Norman Commercial); Hafele; Billi; Abey.

Photography: Earl Carter

The Work Project – Asia Square


The Work Project co-working brand is deeply connected to a sense of quality and innovative design. Each location has a different approach and a unique design narrative. Hassell’s previous co-creations with The Work Project invoked Singaporean colonial architecture and high art-deco modernism. For the Asia Square property, the touchstone was the great and varied architecture of 1980s post-modernism celebrated through unusual materiality and reinterpretation of classic elements.

Drawing on the iconic design of Denton Corker Marshall’s Asia Square Tower 2 and the surrounding precinct, the design is an exploration of the grid – both through rigid implementation and a playful deviation from it. This principle drove the planning, enabling efficiency and providing natural direction to the wayfinding. The idea was carried through into finishes and in the elevations; the core design principles of the building were continually re-referenced.

A series of timber-lined boxes mediates between the base building and the tenancy, defining entry points into the space from the granite and glass lift lobby. The formal entry itself is a much larger timber and mirror box lined with a living green wall. A collaboration with leading horticultural artist, Patrick Blanc, the ‘green box’ offers glimpses into the rest of the spaces: the lounge, meeting suites, and work areas.

In the lounge, a customised pattern of tiles and an open black-cell ceiling establish two gridded planes. A skewed and curved red-lacquer box forms the meeting room while defining the lounge zones. Ensembles of iconic modern furniture populate the space, carefully curated to produce a variety of intriguing settings. Another Patrick Blanc green wall collaboration commands attention, stretching along the length of one elevation and accentuating the iconic furniture pieces in the lounge, a further expression of the design story.

Natural cork flooring along circulation paths adds a sense of warmth that carries through the whole floor plate. Within the workspace, the open-plan kitchen is a bolt of intense blue and bright yellow over a terrazzo floor. Secondary meeting rooms have fully integrated meeting tables, with highly refined but unexpectedly contrasting finishes – a grid or chequered custom carpet paired with aluminium wall battens to create a unique identity while providing just the right acoustic balance.

Furniture: Arper, Tacchini, Ross Gardam (Stlyecraft); Cassina, Arflex, B&B Italia (Space); Herman Miller (Xtra); Cappellini (Proof); Kettal (P5 Studio); Unifor, Holmris B8 (JEB). Lighting: Ross Gardam (Stlyecraft); &tradition (Made & Make); Flos (Space); Pallucco. Finishes: Interface; Contrac Image; Siam Carpets Manufacturing (SCM); Neoflex (Floorspec); Panelogue; Architectural Stone & Wood Co.; Rubik; Echopanel (Woven Image Asia); Lintex (Premiere Elements); Alucobond; Armstrong Ceilings; Ngai Chin. Fittings & Fixtures: Patrick Blanc; Nature Landscapes; Sunscreen; Silentgliss (Vantage Concept); Billi (Eldric Marketing); Vola (VolumeFive); Index+Co.

Photography: E.K. Yap

The Launch Pad

The Studio* Collaborative

Hyper flexibility is the key to longevity of currency for a working innovation space. In this Sydney CBD space for Westpac, a series of experiential chambers have been created to nudge behaviours and shift the mindset into readiness for creation. Tribes can form quickly, disintegrate and reform with ease. The entire space can shift from five working venture rooms to one large forum space.

The brief was to showcase innovation and provide an everyday workspace for agile teams. The space was to make innovation accessible to users internal and external to Westpac, and to cater to different work styles – structured, unstructured, individual and teams. The designers at The Studio* Collaborative positioned the space for longevity by enabling it to regenerate and reinvent itself through hyper flexible componentry. And they drew on the art of play through hands-on processes that mimic unrestrained childhood play.

The space is sectioned into a series of journeys – three experiential chambers, venture rooms, two customer test labs and an observational behavioural insights room. Whilst the three entry chambers are highly choreographed – the venture rooms themselves are progressive in their absence of visual clutter and noise. The space doesn’t impose itself – rather it allows the patrons to curate the space as they need. An organic bulkhead and curtain weaves its way through the entire space, providing a metaphoric connection/dialogue ribbon. It also conceals computer terminals and provides a backdrop for digital projection.

The venture rooms are a blank canvas and ask nothing more of the user other than to create – to mimic childlike activities, remove pre-conceptions, the fear of making mistakes and unlearn some of the behaviours that inhibit fresh thinking. The preceding chambers prepare them for that. This is not a place for gimmickry. It’s raw, potent and solution focussed. This is the hub for future ways of working at Westpac.

Furniture: Kezu, Living Edge, Jardan, Design Nation, Haworth, Schiavello. Lighting: Inlite, Darkon. Finishes: Bolon, Manetto Joinery, SAS, Europanel, Kvadrat Mahram. Fittings & Fixtures: Everblock, Lego, George & Willy.

Photography: Steve Brown Photography

South Terrace Mezzanine House

Philip Stejskal Architecture

The owners of this house in Fremantle, Western Australia, required a remedy for a situation where an existing double-storey extension at the rear of the property failed to take advantage of views toward the ocean, and nor did it harness prevailing breezes or north light. Their desire was to push west within the existing roof space, to culminate in a roof terrace behind the existing shopfront parapet. The result is a ‘floating’ mezzanine home-office space, pulled back from the edges of the building to funnel daylight to the ground floor and create spatial connection between the levels.

The existing roof was ‘raised’ to accommodate the new program and re-clad in a contemporary material to signal the intervention. External louvre sunshades allow controlled solar ingress through operable glazed roof sections, which also augment cross ventilation. The existing second storey at the rear of the site was wrapped in a new cloak and given a privacy screen to manage overlooking to the eastern neighbour. Internally, white predominates to provide a neutral backdrop to the client’s collection of colourful objects and art.

Thresholds between old and new are, by contrast, dark and moody. This project represents merely the present moment in the life of a structure that has been operating for more than 100 years – originally as a shop, then as a home, now re-modelled as a series of flexible spaces to serve as a temporary residence for our clients, with the ability to switch to an office without modifications in a few years.

It is a manifestation, an expression of a new type of workplace – a thoroughly modern workspace in the sense of blurring boundaries between living and working. It is not merely a shop-house, but an environment that can be a light-filled home one day and a flexible office for 15 people the next. The constant is the new mezzanine, which provides the owners with a space that is both connected and private.

Lighting: UNIOS (HS Reflections). Finishes: Porters Paints, INEX, Webforge, Knauf, Lexan, Revolution Roofing, Bluescope, Equitone. Fittings & Fixtures: Reece, Smeg.

Photography: Dion Robeson

Norton Rose Fulbright Sydney


Shaking up the expectations of a contemporary workplace environment, the new design for law firm Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) in Sydney takes visitors on an elevated sensory experience from the very first moment of stepping inside. Inspired by the ‘civic heart’ surrounds of its Martin Place location in Sydney, the new 10,000-square-metre project embraces the history of the site, while eight floors are expertly connected through a dynamic stair insertion. The outcome is an office for the future, allowing for an unexpected journey.

NRF Sydney responds to the needs of the client, and by focusing on human connections and experiences, this project presents a new workplace model for law firms. The client’s desire to create a memorable experience is realised through the sensorial concierge-style arrival. Upon entering, a sweeping stair void encourages team and clients to immediately engage with their senses as the aromas and sound of coffee rise from the Assembly space below.

The Assembly floor enables the breakdown of barriers, allowing different teams to overlap with clients informally, blurring hospitality and workplace principles into one shared space. This exposure to untapped business opportunities is a design response to NRF’s aspirations, a desire that was captured in the briefing stage. The Assembly space successfully draws on hospitality influences with layered zoning and breakout spots that bring cross-disciplinary teams together for knowledge sharing.

NRF rejects the traditional workplace models of mass open plan and instead offers a new hybrid solution. Described as a partial open-plan scenario, this project brings high-level concentration to knowledge workers through small-scale groupings that have a maximum capacity of 12. Set on the edge of the floor plate, these quieter pods reduce peripheral and acoustic distractions while simultaneously maintaining sightlines for connection and collaboration. Access to windows and views outside also democratises the workplace.

From a sustainability perspective, the fit-out for NRF underwent rigorous planning to consider future proofing, projecting the needs of the firm forward and planning accordingly. In addition, the furniture and materials selection are of a quality that will withstand heavy use and be repurposed with ease.

Furniture: Schamburg + Alvisse, Andreu World (Zenith); Haworth; Linea, Pedrali, Ross Didier, Punt (Design Nation); In Class, Gubi (Ownworld); Mattiazzi, Thinking Works, Magis, Simon James Design, Hem (District); Jardan; Wilkhahn; Stylecraft; Muuto, Eames (Living Edge); Cassina, Moooi (Space); Thinking Works (Stylecraft); Hay (Cult); Vondom (Kezu); Schiavello. Finishes: Laminex, Interface; Behruz Studio (RC+D); Polytec; Dulux; CDK Stone; Caesarstone; Echopanel (Woven Image); Woodcut; Briggs; Kvadrat; Camira; Zepel; Instyle. Fittings & Fixtures: Fisher & Paykel; Billi; Astra Walker; Hafele; Method.

Photography: Nicole England

Munupi Art Centre Workshop

Kaunitz Yeung Architecture with Di Emme Creative Solutions

This art studio building on Melville Island is an essential tropical structure wrapped in the exquisite art of significant local artist Natalie Puantulura. Every element of the architecture is absolutely required and integral. Natural ventilation and lighting combine with significant prefabrication to support a highly sustainable outcome within the tight budget of $800,000. Sustainability and low maintenance were key requirements for the project, for which materials and equipment were only accessible by barge from Darwin.

The project’s primary purpose was to replace the previous derelict and dark workspace, which was utilised by some of the most accomplished artists in the country. The artists are mainly women and as such the space needed to be equally an artist’s workspace and a community space for their families, children and dogs that drift in and out through the day. In the absence of many other community facilities, the requirement was for a community node.

Explains Dr Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia: “Commissioned by Munupi Arts and Craft and designed by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture, the new art studio at Pirlangimpi (Garden Point) on Melville Island in the Tiwi Islands 80 kilometres north of Darwin is at once a celebration and a commemoration. Created in consultation with the artist’s family and community, Puantulura’s distinctive Jilamara have been transposed onto a series of hand-drawn, laser-cut metal panels that wrap around the new art centre building. These dynamic perforated panels protect the body of the building just as Jilamara protects the body in Tiwi ceremony. Like skin, they also enable the body to breathe.”

The design was an iterative co-design process with the client and artists. The architect spent significant time sitting with the artists and learning about people, place and culture as they painted. One of these ladies was Natalie Puantulura. This gave a great insight into the process of making the art and the space required. But more importantly it expanded and clarified the brief to incorporate their hopes and aspirations of the future. Art, and being an artist, affects the self-esteem of individuals and communities. It is an opportunity for respect outside the mob.

Finishes: Colourbond. Fittings & Fixtures: Caroma.

Photography: Brett Boardman

IDIN Architects Office

IDIN Architects

IDIN Architects’ office in the Ratchadaphisek area of Bangkok consists of three zones. The architects’ studio covers most of the site; a cafe (which welcomes coffee lovers) serves as a reception for the company’s clients as well as the recreation area for staff during the day; and a private residential area caters to the office’s Principal.

Ratchadapisek is one of the most chaotic districts in Bangkok, so the main concept for the building was to hide away from this diverse context and create a private creative office. The design process began with addressing the narrowness of the site by aligning the building along one side of the plot, and creating open spaces between the building and the fence. The building mass is interwoven with terraces and courtyards for connection with natural light and greenery.

Within this mass, the three main functions are organised in a hierarchy of spaces. The cafe and meeting room are at the front on the ground floor, the working space is on the second floor, and the private suite for the owner is in the rear zone on the third floor. The cafe can be seen from the main entrance. The rest will reveal itself respectively as one walks through the building.

IDIN regards the ideal architects’ working space as one with a relaxing atmosphere, good quality of light and comfortable temperature. Therefore, this area is open to the north where tall trees are planted. Conversely, in order to block the heat during the day, staircases and solid walls are positioned at the west and south. Burnt cedar was chosen to be the main finishing material, and it appears continuously on the feature walls from exterior to interior. The dark-coloured material is conceptually in line with the idea of hiding from the surrounding chaos.

Generally, in offices, the most importance is ascribed to welcome areas and meeting rooms that can immediately impress clients. At the IDIN Architects Office, the most pleasant space is occupied by the designers. The underlying belief is that the better the quality of the designer’s life, the more efficient pieces of work they will provide.

Furniture: Modernform. Lighting: Lamptitute. Finishes: Pammastic, Vista. Fittings & Fixtures: Hafele, American Standard.

Photography: Spaceshift Studio, Ketsiree Wongwan

Hallmarc Offices Collins Street

Hallmarc with Malcolm Elliott Architecture

This refurbishment of the developer’s existing head office saw an expansion into a former plant room to allow for present and future growth. Considering the firm’s collaborative culture, a focus was placed on light and the maximisation of communal areas, as well as creating inspiring spaces while retaining connection between colleagues. The client’s brief was to create a space that reflects the company’s current phase of growth: the incorporation of modern ideas with the traditional values it holds. Seamless connection between the old and new was an important aspect of this renovation.

Relocating plant equipment to the roof of the building to better utilise inefficient space was just one hurdle to overcome. Retention of the original brickwork, exposed concrete ceiling and copper pipes creates a juxtaposition with the modern, cantilevered spiral staircase. The dramatic, statement-making staircase was introduced to encourage flow of light and movement adding a striking centrepiece that has purpose and function.

Open areas were created to encourage inter-department collaboration, and an emphasis was placed on staff amenity and spaces that promote wellness and interaction. Common areas are highlighted by the custom-designed skylight that floods light onto both floors. Clever solutions, such as cantilevered mezzanine areas, allow for better use of the floor area and take advantage of high ceilings without closing in the space or losing any integrity of the existing materials that were retained.

Built-in spaces for computer towers, personal belongings and folders as well as all cables and cords being hidden under desks and in custom-designed cable trays, creates a comfortable workspace for staff. Almost every aspect of the office – including all joinery, metalwork, lighting, steel doors and windows including handles, staircase and skylight – were custom designed and made, with every detail carefully considered.

Furniture: Viccarbe, ICF (Hub Furniture); Globe West; Sarah Ellison (Life Interiors); EGC. Lighting: Unios (Lights & Tracks); Barisol. Finishes: Laminex (EGC); Eveneer (Elton Group and EGC); Godfrey Hirst, Supertuft (Highett Floors); Creative Windows; Signorinos; Dulux; LL Installations. Fittings & Fixtures: Fantini (Roger Seller); Abey (Harvey Norman).

Photography: Peter Clarke, Mitch Lyons

CBA Axle, South Eveleigh

Woods Bagot

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA’s) workplace at the Axle building in Sydney focuses on the bank’s continued commitment to innovation, learning and the wellbeing of its people. With CBA’s workplace strategy and identity shifting from a more traditional banking environment to that more akin to a tech company, the design of Axle responded directly to the bank’s vision for a world-class environment.

CBA is focused on advancing its digital future through people, collaboration and innovation, and Axle helps with this focus. Across 42,500 square metres and eight floors (base building by FJMT), Woods Bagot created an intuitive workplace that uses smart technology to simplify and unify the workspace, building and employees to create a positive experience for everyone.

Accommodating 4,000 people, the spaces within Axle are highly diverse and highly porous. Optimised for learning and productivity, the mix of logical, open, desirable spaces was designed for both deliberate and random collaboration. There are retreat spaces and shelters for individual work, while rest and tech-free relaxation spaces ease into vibrant and active settings. The periphery provides ‘me settings’, then come the ‘we settings’ (the individual with team members and other people), then ‘us settings’ as one gets closer to the atrium.

The integrated approach by the interior designer and the building architect prioritised CBA’s commitment to distributed agile and activity-based work. In creating an agile, next-generation work environment, the design collaboration produced enhancements such as the stepped plaza connecting upper ground and level 1 spaces. Receding and expressed compositions redefine the atrium edge providing variety and interest.

By facilitating significant change in the culture of one of Australia’s largest private employers, Axle is distinct for its commitment to optimising performance and supporting a healthy and sustainable future for CBA and its people.

Furniture: Unifor Australia, Living Edge, Dexion Commercial, Uplifting Solutions, Work Arena, District Australia, Design Nation, Café Culture Australia, Seehosu, Anibou, Cult, Stylecraft, Mark Tuckey, Koskela, Schiavello Systems, Jardan Australia, Design Nation, Mid Med, Kezu, Wilkhahn, HVG, NSW Leather, CFS Furniture, Tappeti, Wilson & Gilkes. Lighting: KKDC, VBO Australia. Finishes: Halliday Bailie, Spectrum Flooring, Forbo, RC +D, Gibbon, Interface, Artedomus, Earp Bros, Classic Ceramics, Teranova, Ocean and Merchant, Academy Tiles, Skheme Tiles, WK Marble, Corian, Civardi Joinery, Dulux, H Dallas Industries, Armstrong, Polytec, Elton Group, Laminex, Kvadrat, Portugal Cork Co., CHH Woodproducts, Woodform Instyle, Easycraft. Fittings & Fixture: Darko, Hafele.

Photography: Nicole England & Trevor Mein

Australian Unity

Bates Smart

Located at 271 Spring Street in Melbourne, the new 12,500-square-metre flexible workplace for Australian Unity accommodates over 1,000 staff and demonstrates a commitment to wellbeing. The design successfully connects staff, builds community and allows for agile working, while respecting the heritage attributes of the site.

The workplaces, located within the tower, have been strategically divided to create a more connected environment. Three-storey villages, complete with a variety of different work settings, help to create a more intimate and flexible working environment. The village methodology encompasses of a series of neighbourhoods – human-scaled areas sized for 25 people – consisting of collaborative, touchdown and breakout areas. After extensive research, the team devised the precise number of workstations and meeting rooms for each village in order to enhance fluid collaboration.

A network of voids and staircases connect these villages, culminating in a two-floor amphitheatre, which functions like a village square by bringing people together and catering for both casual interactions and formal presentations. The careful distribution of centralised amenity also helps to encourage staff movement across the building, avoiding silos and creating a more connected workplace.

The design successfully respects the history of the site. The former Church of England Mission Hall, which has a history dating back to the 1880s (and last significantly altered in 1913), has been retained. Internally, the historic red brick building has been sensitively repurposed into client meeting rooms and staff training facilities, with many of the original details preserved.

Reflecting the organisation’s commitment to wellness, the interior design utilises natural materials, such as timber, alongside an abundance of greenery. A neutral colour palette and ample daylight helps to create a warm atmosphere. The interior design cleverly incorporates the geometric pattern of the building’s facade on several interior elements, such as ceilings, joinery details, carpets, partition linings and door handles, demonstrating a high attention to detail and further establishing the comprehensive approach taken when designing the workplace.

Furniture: Josh Carmody, Stylecraft, Hay (Cult), Vitra, Artek (Anibou), Herman Miller (Living Edge). Lighting: ISM Objects, Euroluce, Space Furniture, Fred International, Own World, Dedece. Finishes: Interface, Supawood, Winspear Group, Pelle Leathers. Fittings & Fixtures: Smartalock (Aspect Furniture), Astra Walker, Zip Taps, Oliveri, Fisher & Paykel.

Photography: Peter Clarke

Anti Chamber

Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute

This project was difficult in many ways but the most notably due to a limitation of the existing building – it lets in far too little natural light. The project for the interior design of the second floor of a corporate headquarters in Kaohsiung City, southern Taiwan required a total redesign of the floor to improve its efficiency and the overall function of the building. Chain10 reoriented the space, improved the light level, and implemented interesting furniture in the transformation.

The floor area of 1,805 square metres is a sizeable space in which to correct the faults of the exterior. The departments were reorganised so the workspaces are positioned around conference rooms, which eliminated unnecessary traffic and disturbances in any one particular area. The poor natural lighting was supplemented by plentiful artificial lighting to improve the energy of the various spaces. The organic shaped selected for the light fittings sit comfortably with the earthen colours specified in the office.

Unique furniture was chosen to steer away from the typical image of an office and provide visual interest to the employees. On the ceiling, sound-absorbing material absorbs as much of the excess noise as possible. The colours of the office reduce visual disturbance. All of these things combined create a unique space embracing modern office directions.

The space is comprised of bare brick walls, a rough-polished metal ceiling, clear glass cubicles and translucent U-shaped glass. The materials are the best choice for privacy and interoperability of the fluid space, presenting a minimalist and elegant new workplace.

Furniture: Aurora Group. Lighting: Greatshow Lighting Design. Finishes: INAX, Kikusui. Fittings & Fixtures: Bolon.

Photography: KyleYu Photo Studio

Albert Park Office and Depot

Harrison and White with Archier

This building is a combined office and depot in Melbourne’s Albert Park. The park has a layered history and a complex pattern of public use. The architects sought to understand this condition and how Parks Victoria works day-to-day, to ensure the design serviced their operations as well whilst preserving the amenity of the park. This is the kind of building you’d imagine Parks Victoria to be in: ‘a building within the park, with a park within the building’.

The architects wanted it to be green in every sense – from the material choices and construction methodology, to the energy usage and building operation, through to the orientation and passive-solar performance of the design. The project seeks to remain public in nature despite accommodating the secure depot functions. By integrating a courtyard into the middle of the building, (conceptualised as an extension of the park), the notion of the public domain is extended. The perimeter of the building also features an insitu concrete seat in the tradition of park benches.

The design employs a hybrid structural solution, with concrete at the lower level for the depot and workshops, and CLT at the upper level. The structure is also designed for a third level in future, allowing for growth and adaptation. The upper level is a donut of space and contains the primary workspaces within a thin plan allowing for excellent light to work areas. Sun screening is achieved through overhangs and planting, shading extensive glass that draws in the borrowed landscape from the surrounding park. Two courtyards help to increase the amount of solar access to the office and workshop. As well as reducing energy consumption, natural light and views of the park help to reinforce the organisational values of Parks Victoria.

The building uses natural and mixed-mode conditioning to adjust to seasons. Windows open to allow for air movement, whilst services are exposed and typically do not use ceilings. The robust and raw materiality reduced the amount of applied surfaces and privileged lasting materials that will patina with time.

Finishes: Britton Timber, Dulux. Fittings & Fixtures: Fisher & Paykel, Caroma.

Photography: Peter Bennetts

Wellness Retreat at Habarana

Palinda Kannangara Architects
Sri Lanka

Wellness Retreat at Habarana is located on a one-acre site in Sri Lanka’s hot, dry Habarana region with beauty proximal to the majestic landscapes of Sigiriya (landscape citadel with boulder and water gardens) and at the edge of the biodiversity hotspot of Habarana Lake. The site has a scrub forest and is edged by a steam. The property is a ten-room boutique hotel with two luxury villas and is centred on wellness. It offers panoramic paddy views from each of the rooms.

The property has been conceptualised as a space for wellness – for the restoration of the mind, body and soul. The design draws from the quiet beauty of the monastic landscapes of the region. A central meditative raised pathway, which is a key feature of the design, mediates the landscape, weaving through the existing trees and acting as a spine or journey that connects the reception/lounge, the fine dining restaurant and the spa, ending with a circular space for meditation under the canopies of the existing trees. The pathway forms a walking meditation path for the guests.

A series of water-harvesting ponds have built around the existing vegetation creating a fluid reflective edge to the public spaces. The material palette and crafted brick finishes are derived from the language of the ruins in the region. The restaurant appears like a floating lantern, the gable roof extending beyond the grid into the water, melding the grid with the pond. It acts as a wide eave against the monsoonal rains. The reception and restaurant have been conceptualised as light pavilions, passively ventilated and connecting the guest with the views of water.

The project is deeply rooted to the place, the garden and monastic history of the region – including its spectacular ruins. As pavilions in the landscape, the architecture allows the guest to truly experience the history and culture of the place. Minimal building footprints, preservation of existing vegetation, harvesting of rainwater, passive ventilation and locally available materials integrate the retreat with its surroundings.

Furniture: Palinda Kannangara, Stylish Wood Interior Work. Lighting: Trax Technologies, Majestic Electrical, Kalaya. Finishes: Osmo Lanka. Fittings & Fixtures: Duravit, Hansgrohe, Schell, Access Lifestyle.

Photography: Mahesh Mendis

walu-win Wellness Centre

Kaunitz Yeung Architecture

The walu-win wellbeing centre is a rehabilitation centre in Orange, western New South Wales, 300 kilometres west of Sydney. Wula-win means ‘healthy’ in the local Wiradjuri language. The client, the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service (OAMS), is a community controlled, owned and operated organisation that provides medical and primary healthcare services. Its focus is the delivery of culturally sensitive, holistic and professional healthcare for Aboriginal people and the wider community.

The building sits harmoniously as a pavilion in the evolving community garden, which provides an important learning and cultural space for local culture. As such it was important that the building was contextualised and engendered a high level of community ownership. The centre provides complementary rehabilitation services predominantly for community elders. As such there was a strong requirement to create a resonance with local elders through the architecture.

Community engagement from the earliest stages underpinned the design process. This guided a design that is harmonised with ‘country’ and humanised. This was achieved using Australian timber from a sustainable indigenous source and reclaimed local bricks. These combine to accentuate the simple twisted form of the Colorbond roof.

The use of natural, long lasting and sustainable materials makes this building intrinsically sustainable. The roof, windows and building framing is 100-per-cent recyclable. All fittings are energy and water efficient. The building plan is highly efficient to maximise space provided and these spaces are flexible to enable the building to adapt over time. The plan provides natural light and ventilation from at least two directions. This is important to avoid any feeling of claustrophobia and reinforce the ideas of wellbeing.

Most importantly the building has become a much-loved addition to the community and embraced by its elders. This will ensure that the building is well utilised, even as its use adapts over time.

Furniture: Slender You Australia, Sonata. Lighting: Standard. Finishes: Lysaght, Armstrong Flooring Commercial, Regupol. Fittings & Fixtures: Caroma, Britex.

Photography: Brett Boardman

Royal Melbourne Hospital Stroke and Neurology Unit

ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Stroke and Neurology Unit was designed to provide an enriched environment supporting high-intervention rehabilitation treatment for 31 patients. Stroke is one of Australia’s major causes of death and disability. Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) is an exciting new treatment having a major impact on patient outcomes. RMH is Australia’s leading stroke centre and Victoria’s only provider of ECR: a time-critical, technically challenging, high-intervention rehabilitation treatment that starts within hours of clot removal. Getting patients up and active is crucial.

ClarkeHopkinsClarke refurbished a vacant ‘shell’ within RMH to create a bespoke unit for a groundbreaking treatment involving high patient/staff ratios, constant but subtle visual monitoring of patients’ progress, and an enriched environment encouraging constant, sociable interaction between staff, patients and families. The design uses natural light, warm materials and softly curved forms to create a calming, informal, non-clinical environment with touches of home.

Patient rooms (including eight high-acuity beds) are located around the periphery to capture natural light – a brain stimulant aiding recovery. Previously decentralised rehab services and new clinical and caregiver support facilities are accommodated in a central hub. Rooms and rehab are linked by a wide circular walkway dubbed ‘The Racetrack’ – a light-filled, sociable space lined with upholstered timber joinery seating and used for varied interactions and activities. Staff are decentralised at bedroom entry points but have clear sightlines throughout.

Unusually detailed research and stakeholder engagement helped ClarkeHopkinsClarke translate patient, staff and visitor needs into physical form. The design surpasses stakeholders’ high expectations with innovative, effective design that supports timely, innovative and effective treatment. The design achieves transformational change with judicious restraint. It cleverly combines form, materials, lighting, finishes and colour to connect and stimulate patients, staff and visitors to just the right degree, avoiding the perils of over-stimulation.

Furniture: CABtek Architectural Joinery, Hafele, Workspace. Lighting: CHC Interiors, LCI Consultants. Finishes: CS Acrovyn, Laminex, Corian, Instyle, Worthly Group, Tarkett, Polyflor, Armstrong, Baresque, Godfrey Hirst, Dulux. Fittings & Fixtures: Vertilux, Caroma, Enware, Britex, SureCare, Iglass, Raulands, HLS Healthcare, Hill Rom.

Photography: Rhiannon Slatter

RISE at 101 Collins Street

Gray Puksand Australia

RISE represent a new era of amenity and inclusiveness for end-of-trip and wellness facilities within a commercial office tower, through the adaptive reuse of underutilised basement carparks at 101 Collins Street. As one of Melbourne’s premium buildings, the interior architecture delivers an integrated solution that’s uniquely tailored to its premium market. Underpinning this is a philosophy that elevates the user experience in every sense, and encourages cycling to work and exercising during the day to reduce congestion and improve wellbeing.

The brief to provide a high-end wellness experience was supported by advice from a wellness consultant (Wellineux). RISE comprises two multi-purpose studios set up for yoga, barre classes, TRX and pilates; and four consulting rooms for massage and physiotherapy, and for use by allied health professionals. Integrated audio-visual systems allow spaces to be used for education purposes. A design challenge was to plan for functional agility and changing demands depending on the future uptake of different classes or health needs.

At the threshold of RISE, a new design language emerges like a soft light from the dark lobby. Airy biophilic curves and natural materials transport users to an internal playground with suspended furniture placed within green planting below new skylights. Consultants developed a custom-designed soothing soundscape while scent is injected into the space and changes throughout the day.

The design considers what the notion of luxury means to our senses. Research determined it’s not just about fixtures, fittings and the things you touch and feel, but it’s about creating an unexpected harmonious spatial quality and a holistic experience that includes concierge services, grandness of scale, high attention to detail and a tailored experience that respects the building’s celebrated context. This benchmark project is industry-defining in terms of what commercial landlords are now looking to provide their tenants, and that is a daily five-star wellness experience particularly in premium buildings.

Furniture: Tom Raffield, Jardan, Stylecraft, Living Edge. Lighting: Glowing Structure. Finishes: Henderson, Fibonacci, Alternative Surfaces, Dulux, Gfethers Veneers, Viridian. Fittings & Fixtures: Hansgrohe, Broadware, Apaiser, Duravit, Lockin Lockers, Five at Heart, Made Measure.

Photography: Shannon McGrath

Rebuilding Neuropsychiatry Hospital

Wooyo Architecture

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – C.G. Jung.

An existing neuropsychiatry hospital in New Taipei City, Taiwan was in need of an overhaul. The building is located on a slope. Externally, the entrance needed a new controlled gate and universal-access route. The building lacked sufficient sunlight due to the adjacent four-storey-high retaining wall, and it was covered with mechanical pipes, for which there was no budget for relocation. Internally, a redesign was needed to accommodate the needs of new medical services.

In addition to these practical matters, Wooyo Architecture wanted to re-examine the image of this institution and reconstruct the relationship between the medical staff and patients. The hope was a re-interpretation of neuropsychiatry with a modern medical point of view, and elevation of the spiritual dimension in design.

The architects pulled back the gate and security post, and added a new fully covered waste-disposal space. They reworked the open area in front of the building, elongating the driveway and reducing the slope. They accommodated an S-shaped universal circulation route with greenery, and planted tall trees to eliminate the visual impact of the retaining wall. They removed the building’s eaves and added a layer of metal mesh to the existing wall. This covers the old pipes and provides adequate protection from the rain, while allowing air to flow and light to reach the interior. The old wall and new mesh form a new skin for the building, which appears different during the day and night.

The interior is a play of geometry and duality. The voids provide space; the solids are the storage and furniture. Objects seem independent and separated. Although the function of objects may vary, some share the same geometry. Similar geometries and objects repeatedly appear on different floors to create a deja-vu effect, but there are differences in design detail as a hint for orientation.

In response to the concept of modern neuropsychiatry, the semi-opaque skin of the hospital acts as the filter/receptor between the outside and the inside, allowing for the landscape to blend with the interior geometry. The body is the receptor, the brain is the editor. Fragmented information is received, decoded and edited to make up one’s reality. Quantum physics, on the contrary, claims that the outer reality is the realisation of the inner consciousness. Perhaps the ‘healthy’ are in a dream just as the patients are.

Photography: Ethan Li

Holism Retreat

Studio Tate

Holism – a destination day spa and urban sanctuary amongst its fashion neighbours in Chadstone, Melbourne – encapsulates the notion of a rough-to-polished treatment. Colour, texture and form merge together to create Holism’s unique visual identity. Each space holds its own distinct identity, a reflection of the various functions, all united by a sense of calm indulgence.

The project was to transform a base building tenancy to provide a fully functional day spa with nine treatment rooms, LED lounge, yoga studio, consultation lounge and guest amenities, along with back-of-house support spaces for therapists. The design was to be delivered within a cost-effective manner and a short timeframe. With such a short timeline, the use of colour as a cost-effective, yet interesting way to create identity forges a unique and innovative space at a high standard.

Inspiration arose from the meaning of a wellness spa, which sparked interest in transformation and the juxtaposition one would feel when entering and leaving. The process of polishing a precious metal or stone resembled the treatment, starting from a rough, textured surface and moving to a polished and refined finish. The end result – a polished gem emerging through the rough.

Working around the existing base building structure and services needing to be concealed meant taking an innovative approach while considering low ceilings and no natural light. Studio Tate created a layered canvas of muted, tonal hues enlivened with arched thresholds, rendered walls and soft, recessed lighting. The yoga studio and LED lounge bookend the venue and have been given painted ceiling ‘hats’ in feature colours – yoga studio in terracotta and LED lounge in blush. Different textures are used within the reception desk to encapsulate the notion of a rough-to-polished treatment. Working closely with the client, an urban retreat was achieved.

Lighting: Sphera, Living Edge, About Space. Finishes: Corsi and Nicolai, Artedomus, Signorino, National Tiles, Pelle Leathers, Unique Fabrics, Viridian, Laminex, Dulux, Kandean Design Flooring, Gunnerson. Fittings & Fixtures: Reece, Harvey Norman, D&C Design, Hafele, Custom Industrial, Warranbrooke, Acqua Bathrooms, Anthropologie, Comfortel, Lockin Lockers Australia, Design Stuff, Madinoz, Designer Doorware, Sussex Tapware, Streamline, Axus, Zip, Hay. Art: Vernissage Gallery.

Photography: Lillie Thompson