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A new support office for one of Australia’s leading retailers has been completed, in a project set to be an exemplar for the future of workspace design.

Occupying two towers in inner Melbourne, the retailer has dedicated seven floors spanning 16,000sqm to the consolidation of its Victorian teams, to reflect hybrid styles of working post-pandemic.

Raw and rustic elements of timber, concrete, steel and brick characterise the space, while earthy tones of rust and sage feature intermittingly throughout. Expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls were also introduced to create sense of unity and openness in the large space.

“Our mission was to create and offer something that working from home could not. Not only a space to collaborate and meet, but to learn, develop, socialise and have fun. The spaces needed to be equal to, or better than, what you could get at home."
— Dale O'Brien, Partner, Gray Puksand

Raw timber, concrete, steel and brick characterise the scheme, alongside exposed services. Nothing is concealed to ensure the construction techniques are firmly on display and this lends the design honest appeal. Key features such as transparent walls represent the nuts and bolts of the business and are contrasted with furnishings that introduce a softness and homeliness to the overall design. It’s in turn complemented by an understated colour palette of earthy rust and red tones as well as sage and pistachio.

These soft greens, in particular, work to connect the interior to the outdoors by reflecting the large gum trees in the adjacent park.

Each space appears tactile and in this sense works to exude a sense of friendliness and approachability. This was especially important as employees returned to the workplace following the lifting of Victoria’slockdowns. According to the retailer’s Managing Director, the design accurately encompasses the spirit of the company and the staff, who are now enjoying the new office, could not wait to get back.

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