- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Dianna Snape
- Architect HASSELL
The brief for this project called for a ‘studio’ office environment that would reflect the creative team at George Patterson Y&R and its sub-brands, while also providing a practical, modern office. The client required various working areas, from presentation spaces and informal lounges to collaboration areas and formal workstations.
The Georges building – an iconic boutique department store dating back to the early 1900s – has been stripped back to its former glory. Retail and commercial spaces are located on the first two levels, with the office space above. The building itself is characterised by large open spaces and heritage architectural features such as Victorian columns, a glazed atrium on level three and ceiling heights that range from three to six metres. The key challenges were to spread a modest budget over a large floor area, to design within a space that was not originally intended as a workplace, and to provide consistent heating, cooling and lighting in a beautiful but challenging architectural shell.
Overcoming these issues meant removing decades of additions that impeded the building’s appeal and inserting elements that stood free of the building fabric or architecture. This approach minimised expensive building works while at the same time allowing the heritage character of the interior to stand proud on its own. These elements have been delivered in the form of a furniture-based series of responses to the client’s needs, such as bookcases that are used instead of walls to define spaces. The result is a functional yet creative design that allows natural light to permeate the space without being inhibited by walls or other divisions.