- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Michael Downes
- Architect S2 Design
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A pair of style savvy clients required a new home for their boutique law firm. The site is two vacant tenancies located in a heritage significant building that onc eoperated as a printing facility. The existing spaces featured massive steel structural ceiling beams, paintd solid-brick walls and Jarrah floors with concrete areas that once supported heavy printing presses which have all been retained. The two spaces were joined via the demolition of a portion of steel-stud, plasterboard wall.
The completed fit-out makes a strong break from the staid, conservative office environment that one expects from a law firm. Contemporary stainless steel fittings are contrasted with rough timber beams. Orange, the firms corporate colour is splashed, generously throughout the highly detailed interior. An environmentally conscious approach resulted in the use of natural ventilation systems (celing fans and open windows) , recycled workstation partitions, maximised access to natural light, zero VOC timber finishes where possible, low energy lighting, and the extensive use of recycled timber.
The entry leads into a waiting area which is defined by the space between the reception and a water-wall which provides acoustic damping, humidifying and aesthetic functions. Freestanding mosaic walls are constructed using heavy Oregon frames that weer once building props salvaged from an old ship yard in Williamstown. Within the frames are a random arrangement of clear glass, translucent oragen acrylic and plantation Black Heart Sassafras timber panels. These walls form screens between the reception. Meeting room, executive office, board table, work stations and staff lounge.
Drainage is often the forgotten workhorse of the building and design function. Yet drainage maintains a simple albeit vital purpose.