The Stella Collective
The client’s brief was to design and redefine an ‘end of trip’ facility to service a multitude of business and office workers who spend their days in 42 levels of corporate spaces at 259 George Street, Sydney. Zephyr as it is now known, houses an exclusive lounge, two meeting rooms and 25 private bathrooms for workers to shower and prepare for their day. Led by a visionary brief from the client Memocorp Australia, The Stella Collective has infused the space with ultra-cool elegance, transforming the once dark and cavernous basement into private bathroom suites and a luxury lounge that infuses the exclusivity of a Soho house with the luxuriousness of a world-leading spa.
Embracing its subterranean location, the designers created a truly immersive environment. Dramatic touches such as the marriage of luxurious green velvet drapery with elegant dark timber flooring, are both theatrical and delightfully cocooning. The feeling is seamlessly enhanced by a brass-edged screening mirror that conceals a welcoming library. Marble and brass accents alongside beautifully crafted furniture give a masculine and moody nod to a 1950s elegance.
With its cramped conditions and lack of natural light, the basement provided a challenge with regard to lighting and wayfinding. The basement ceiling was very low, so down lights were avoided. Instead, track lights create a glow towards the walls or other elements in the space that reflect the light. Custom lighting helps guests navigate through the space.
Each private bathroom suite is completed with handmade Japanese tiles, soothing warm timber and sparkling terrazzo, giving a sense of the luxuriousness and indulgence of lavish spas and resorts. Custom-designed door handles were made with Black Heart Sassafras – a rare Australian timber that can only be used in a reclaimed sense. It brings an earthy welcoming aspect to the imposing double doors of the meeting room.
The Stella Collective’s mission was to create an uplifting space that sets employees up for an amazing day ahead. Every highly considered detail (even a Stella Collective playlist is piped through the space) successfully combines to create a space of rejuvenation for employees, undoubtedly positioning them for an inspired day ahead.
Photography: Peter Clarke