Cue Clothing Headquarters

April 5, 2012

From a complex brief, Geyer’s new office design for Cue Clothing Co. has yielded a singular space that boasts a pared-back, minimalist glamour.

Given the task of creating fashion label Cue Clothing Co.’s new headquarters in Sydney, Geyer was essentially given a range of problems to solve. As one of very few Australian labels to not only perform almost all design processes in-house, but also manufacture on site, Cue required an appropriate head office through which to represent the label, as well as adequate lighting for functions such as pattern-making and machining. The large and diverse workforce also required that Geyer create a harmonious workspace suited to a number of administrative and managerial functions. The most immediate concern was to translate the qualities of the company’s two distinct brands, Cue and Veronika Maine, into the design, while still presenting a united image: “We were inspired by the clothing’s beautiful attention to detail, and we wanted to represent that in a 3D built form. We also wanted to make sure that the different qualities of the fabrics, from light and sheer to solid, heavy and structured, were incorporated into the environment,” says Geyer associate, Michelle Tarlinton.

Design studios are housed within opaque glass boxes


Both of the brands required a separate presentation studio, which Geyer has located as opaque glass boxes. These break much of the parallels of the office space by jutting into the main as discrete entities. Within each box, colours have been chosen to suit the particular clothing brand, not only as a backdrop, but also as a means of conveying each brand on arrival. Effectively, Cue is targeted to a younger market and structured, slick finishes define this part of the project’s identity, while the Veronika Maine brand, which is aimed at a slightly older age group, has been reflected in muted and softer shades, and the use of timber and stone. What conveys the brand overall within the 3000sqm office fitout is a fine attention to detail and the high quality of materials and finishes, which effectively sets the stage for the garments to be viewed by buyers.

Neutral tones in the office area


Setting the tone is a foyer that establishes the fashion design company as chic, elegant, avant-garde and solid, which may seem like a list of contradictions, but is in fact what the label needs to convey. The solid square of the counter in dark grey Euro Marble, honed with a mirror shadow line, presents as a well-proportioned mass, which when teamed with discrete branding in stylistically simplified curves, is neither fussy nor brutal. The company is located in Sydney’s garment district, Surry Hills, and is surrounded by light manufacturers. Geyer felt it imperative that the office’s design echo this history and retained the concrete flooring throughout. It’s a nice touch – honesty of material in a pared back minimalist glamour.

Workstations, located in prime position for access to natural light


Deep brown carpeting and a series of FY2K armchairs and Geode sofas run parallel to the walkway and provide both a reception waiting area and informal meeting areas. The crown jewel, however, is the lighting installation by Sydney artist, Jonathan Jones. Made entirely from industrially manufactured fluorescent tubes, the work extends through reflection to create a visual depth that endlessly enriches itself. The artist was an excellent choice for this space as his contemporary and raw aesthetic conveys both finesse and strength, which echoes the brand image.

Jonathan Jones' lighting installation


In a break with tradition, the workstations and machinists have been given the premium areas where natural light is at its best. Work flow through these areas is essential and Geyer has created a floor plan that allows easy through-access from one department to another, while alternative entryways bypass other work areas to minimise disruption.

The staircase, a well-executed flourish amongst pared-back thoroughfares


Completing the whole are the glamorous staircases that take clients between the studios and staff between floors. The design for these thoroughfares are free of fuss, within a reduced palette of grey, with well crafted, fine materials predominating. Effectively, in this project Geyer has reversed a traditional workspace by creating studio pods in the centre and shifting the functional aspects to the rim. It is a good solution that allows maximum exploitation of each area, while conveying the brands’ emphasis on quality and longevity.

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