Client: Birkenstock Australia
Builder: emac Constructions
Design Collaborator For Shop Furniture/Fitout: Cibi
Structural/Civil: Hive Engineering
Energy & Daylight Modelling, Mechanical Engineering: The Green Factory
Text description provided by the architects. The multi-award-winning design succinctly translates the brand’s core values into a spatial experience, intuitively illustrating Birkenstock’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality, to health and sustainability. The warm and contemporary design, with a hip feel and an holistic approach to sustainability, results in enjoyable spaces for both workers and customers.
The scope The run-down heritage building was brought back to its former glory, extended and complemented by a contemporary fitout. The new headquarters consist of wholesale offices, workshop, courtyard, retail space, online store, and a warehouse with newly inserted Mezzanine storey as wholesale showroom.
The Concept The layout allows for spontaneous staff encounters, unifying different departments into one company culture through the design. A new central core connects, with staff amenities as meeting points between the levels. The shopfront becomes a single point of entrance, so all staff experience the 'front end', where shoe meets customer.
Architecture follows values Birkenstocks are natural, handcrafted, healthy shoes. This is reflected in the design; from concept to detail, the HQ promotes a healthy lifestyle / workplace. Both natural materials and nature itself form an integral part of the design.
Healthy, Natural, Sustainable Carefully selected greenery is built into the sustainable design, working as 'air-purifiers' throughout : Remaining emissions / offgasing from low VOC materials get filtered and cleansed by the planting.
An element of surprise Traditional materials/elements are put into new context : The shopfront uses natural grass for flooring, plants are replacing office screen partitions, plywood forms a complete interior covering all surfaces in some areas, and a ‘homely’ fireplace invites customers to relax at the tea bar within the shop.