Blackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins

Blackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Table, Windows, ChairBlackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Windows, FacadeBlackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Table, Windows, ChairBlackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Facade, WindowsBlackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - More Images+ 22

North Melbourne, Australia
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Text description provided by the architects. Through the combined effort of its new occupants; a construction company and an architecture studio; this 1970’s office block has been given a new life. Located in North Melbourne, and hidden under a layer of custard-coloured render for several decades, the Brutalist materiality was revealed after 8 weeks of painstaking labour chipping off the suffocating crust.

Blackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Beam
© Lisbeth Grosmann

Retaining the shell and reusing parts of the original fit-out, the challenge was to create a non-corporate environment that would evoke a sense of authenticity and capability. Critical to both organisations is the effect that the work environment has on those who use it. It responds firstly to the needs of the staff, engendering a healthy office culture. Secondly, the space presents a considered representation of the two businesses that befits a variety of clients and visitors.

Blackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Image 25 of 27
Floor Plan

While rarely collaborating professionally, these businesses had previously shared a building and were keen to retain and enhance a sense of community. Unlike many shared studios which co-habit an entry and front-of-house amenities, this 440m2 floor-plan works in reverse. Separate entries and offices lead through to a generous shared zone including kitchen, breakout-space and deck. The deck is the heart of the shared concept with both offices and the kitchen/breakout space opening onto it through large banks of operable glazing. These shared facilities benefit both organisations professionally, socially, and spatially.

Blackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins - Windows, Facade
© Lisbeth Grosmann

This project transformed two highly-disconnected spaces, divided into small windowless consulting rooms, into a light-filled, open-plan office. Inverse trims - black for builders, white for architects - are reflected in the refreshed ceiling grid, fittings and furniture and offer a subtle point of difference. Glazed partitions in the builder’s office provide acoustic privacy, while maintaining visual connections through the space. Joinery defines circulation paths creating discrete separation between staff and visitors.

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Project location

Address:22/28 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Blackwood Street Bunker / Clare Cousins" 21 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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