The brief was not only for a highly efficient and sustainable office and warehouse but importantly, for an environment that captured the spirit of the company.
The freestanding headquarters comprises an 8,500 square-metre warehouse, joined via a glazed link to 4,500 square metres of offices, is spread over three levels. Inspired by the properties of the skin, Crosier Scott Architects referenced elements such as the DNA helix to create the curvaceous, almost liquid-like Corian staircase that pieces the three levels of the office building. Appearing to ‘float’, this award-winning staircase not only strengthens staff connections, but as importantly, via the lantern-style roof, allows abundant natural light to filter into the core of the building.
It was important to create a comfortable and sustainable work environment, one that begins when staff first arrive. Bike racks and showers are provided for cycling staff members. Natural and recycled materials feature strongly in the design, whether it’s the use of timbers on ceilings and walls or the recycled timber used for the floors. And while this a serious design, it also includes colourful artwork, both inside and out along with bolts of rich colour to delineate and signpost the open plan areas, many of which can be defined through operable walls and screens.
Rather than being predicable, with corridors simply following on from each other, the broad and transparent floor plates, include surprises at each turn. The three-level office building has a reception area at ground level, a large training room, staff café that leads to an outdoor terrace, complete with barbeque facilities, and administration areas. On the second level, there are open plan offices and board rooms, enclosed meeting rooms and a suite for the managing director. The top floor includes a photographic studio, technical support and abundant space for the company to expand going forward.