- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Dianna Snape
- Designer Universal Design Studio
Universal Design Studio were appointed to design a series of architectural interventions in Corporate Culture’s new Melbourne showroom, housed inside the former Evans & Evans flag factory on Elizabeth Street.
The centrepiece of the interventions is a sculptural, three-level staircase. The brief for this was to provide a vertical narrative, both visually and physically, across the various levels to showcase Corporate Culture’s newly expanded brand portfolio which includes Cappellini, Fritz Hansen, Magis, Poltrona Frau, Louis Poulsen, Hay and Offect.
The crux of the brief was to create fluid and intuitive circulation with strong cross-level sight lines. The design of the staircase needed to allow for multiple merchandised brand stories that read legibly to customers, whilst communicating the increased range of the client’s portfolio. The introduction of intermediate levels and platforms provided this visual and physical dialogue, creating a showroom with seven separate merchandising levels.
The aim of the design is for the transition between floors to become less of a conscious decision and more of an intuitive narration. Key to this was the alignment such that upon entering the showroom, the customer should be able to see all the way through the building, across multiple layers of furniture and lighting.
The staircase is made up of three trays of painted steel. The first of these rests on the ground and is filled with concrete to form a podium. The second and third steel trays are suspended from the first and second floor structures. A finely crafted, slender sinuous oak handrail adds an elegant, tactile thread that unites the folded steel and concrete trays.
Team Damien Mulvihill, Mark Simpson, Tomek Marchewka, Peter King, David Smith