Caroma on Collins


What is the point of a physical showroom in the age of internet shopping? What is the value of an ‘Australian brand’ when we live in a global society with global supply chains? How, as consumers, do we choose wisely when there are so many products on offer? How can architecture strengthen the link between a designer and a customer who typically don’t interact? These are some of the questions we attempted to answer through our investigation of the showroom experience in Caroma on Collins.

The project embodies a familiar Australian brand and seeks to communicate its values through volume, symbol and material. While operating primarily as a showroom, the convenient location near the Sydney CBD allows the space to function as an off-site workspace away from Caroma’s suburban headquarters. This combination of showroom, workplace and ‘parkland’ allows casual and organic interactions between staff and customers that were previously impossible. Archier worked with landscape architect Openwork on the garden aspects.

The project uses physical space to provide what an internet storefront cannot: a customer experience that is unique in both emotion and pace, and that communicates as much to the body as it does to the intellect. Instead of pushing products onto customers in a traditional showroom manner, Caroma on Collins offers a space in which to breathe, sit, slow down, explore and experience.

Photography: Katherine Lu.