Architecture: VENN

Sep 13, 2011
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Photography by Joel Barbitta
  • Designer Geyer
  • Architect Matthews Architecture

The VENN building, a century-old flour mill factory built in 1906, has undergone an extensive $1.7m refurbishment process to create a mixed-use venue encompassing a 125sqm shop and 70sqm bar/cafe on the ground floor, two exhibition areas on the first floor providing over 250sqm of gallery space, and four artist’s studios below ground level.

The concept was to create spaces that were purely focused on quality and attention to detail in an art-filled environment. Matthews Architecture responded to the initial brief to create a premier place to showcase and inspire creativity, while Geyer focused on the finer details of the interior fitout. The team worked in collaboration to deliver the client’s vision, combining many of the building’s original features with contemporary materials, design features and quality finishes.

VENN has been architecturally designed to preserve original features of the building such as the pressed tin ceiling, polished floorboards, wooden staircase and steel beams, while a visual connection between each space has been introduced. A circular form is used as a built element inside the shop, designed with re-used Oregon beams from the original structure. The cafe/bar is positioned in the centre of the space, with views to all other areas of the building. The mezzanine office is a stripped-back, minimalist space that exudes confidence and professionalism.

VENN was named Best in State, and received the Interior Spaces & Hospitality and Interior Spaces & Retail awards at the Design Institute of Australia’s Western Australia Awards 2011.

Team Matthews Architecture: Andrea Vecchia-Scavalli; Geyer: Evan Reeves, Carolyn James

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