Plus Architecture has imagined a new sense of space for their offices located in Melbourne, Australia.
Plus Architecture’s Melbourne studio has recently relocated to a new space in the centre of Melbourne. Taking ownership of a previously unoccupied, heritage building, Plus has invigorated the space, stripping the building back to its historical roots and then building upon these old bones, layering with modern accents and custom details, to create a new, workshop-style studio devoted to inspiring collaboration and creativity amongst the team.
1. Seizing an opportunity: restoring a heritage relic in a prime Melbourne location to former glory.
The essence of this design project was exposing and celebrating the raw and messy parts of a beautiful old building and bringing this derelict and forgotten space into the future. Existing heritage elements have been honoured and remain weaved throughout the space, juxtaposed against crisp, contemporary additions creating a space of interest and surprise through design.
2. Creating an office for a modern and dynamic workforce – designing a real workspace for real people.
As a studio recognized for delivering responsible, impactful and meaningful designs built for real people, it was a no brainer that our studio space be designed with these principles at the fore. The team embraced inspiration from design of previous projects across all sectors, from residential to hospitality, to create a commercial space which blurs the lines of a typical work environment and creates an engaging space for our staff, simultaneously seeking to evoke design creativity and nurture the strong, familial relationships of our tight-knit team.
3. Designing for designers: the challenge of designers designing a design studio.
The quest for design perfection is perhaps no more apparent than when your client is a designer, especially when your ‘client’ is a team of 50+ designers! Given the freedom to design our own studio space allowed Plus to really consider what, as a team, we needed to thrive as a company. Input from all staff was encouraged to create an inclusive design outcome, filled with spaces for connection and collaboration, reflective of our growth and ethos as a studio.
Large spaces throughout the office can be altered or configured to accommodate a number of different uses, offering both event spaces and wellness areas, fully flexible for staff to engage in yoga, Pilates and mindfulness or to collaborate on project work in large format with sophisticated technology. The studio is currently home to bi-weekly yoga classes – with the open, bright and naturally ventilated space offering a peaceful sanctuary from the surrounding busy city.
Designed with the young and young at heart Plus workforce in mind, the studio also offers spaces that can be transformed to easily cater for staff events. High top tables and bar stools present an informal space perfect for after work mingling or casually watching informal Friday Night Presentations. Break out spaces also double as table tennis or foosball tournament arenas, perfect for getting creative juices flowing at lunch or as a wind down after work is done.
A human-centric approach – how staff would actually be using the space – was central to the design concept and supports the Plus ethos of designing for real people. The overall space is inclusive and accessible for all with both lift and stair access and spacious passageways throughout. Given the tight heritage footprint, clever design and use of a light and bright materials palette opens the studio, crafting an inviting and engaging atmosphere that is welcoming for both staff and guests.
The studio features the latest in technology throughout – enabling staff to work remotely from anywhere in the office. Ambient background music drifts seamlessly across the floors, controlled by playlists created by the team.