By re-energising the existing building’s meeting floors, the EY Melbourne Project takes a step forward towards collaborative spaces and the way to reinvent workplaces. Within an architectural layout that combines adaptive reuse with the incorporation of featured products, Gensler designs a flexible space which has been selected among the five winners of the 2022 Best of Globe Winner.
Adaptive Reuse of Existing Elements
With the development of an adaptive reuse strategy for specific elements, such as the staircase, stone flooring and block walls, Gensler aims to contribute to sustainable solutions. Across the two floors, the layout demonstrates environmental awareness by integrating past designs and materials with new finishes. According to the award’s jurors, this project "hits a lot of high notes; sustainability through material selection and reuse, new workspace evolution, and the use of lighting and form to tell a visual story."
It is a space that allows the thoughtful integration of past design and materials and really analyzes why we, as an industry, demolish materials on a regular basis, detrimental to our environmental impact. – Gensler
Workplace Layout: An Integration of Spaces
With transitions from large scale rooms to smaller intimate spaces, the project captures different types of work environments, which, in words of the jury, "showcases an understanding of the evolving workplace and an intention to prioritize human connection."
Complementing its flexible strategy, the design also incorporates curtains –which open or divide spaces– to enable a diversity of uses, activities and scenarios, hence creating a dynamic experience for the user. Balancing live and digital experiences, the workplace blends interaction spaces with technology, audiovisual, enhanced digital activities and modularity of components. When using the space, users have complete flexibility to reconfigure all the furniture in order to fulfill their unique preferences and requirements.
Featured Products: Colors, Textures and Feelings
Besides repurposing existing elements, the design strategy adds two main materials to play with a mixture of colors and textures that provoke different feelings in the user. Featuring subtle shades of light to medium grain textures, the incorporation of wood luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) gives a natural look to the interior. With a 5mm thickness and a silencing layer, this material reduces sound transfer between the workplace’s floors.
With varying flooring types, the layout enables the zonification of spaces, each of them with their own identity. By using Dye Lab carpet tiles that mimic the naturally dyed textile’s color shifts, the workplace creates more comfortable spaces for users to interact with each other in their free time. From madder root, osage orange, sandalwood and saxon tones, this material gives a distinct atmosphere to the spaces where users work, rest and socialize.
Sustainability and Diversity
In response to EY’s goals to be a leader in sustainability and diversity, the proposal acknowledges the presence of the Kulin Nation, which represents the traditional owners and custodians of the land where the building is situated. Respecting the past, present and future of the land’s elders, the project proposes an inclusive future for indigenous communities by supporting local and indigenous suppliers. Inside the main reception’s floor plan, the building includes a sculpture created by a community collective of local First Nation women artists called Ngardang Girri Kalat Mimini.
Celebrating design and its ability to influence our everyday lives, the Shaw Contract Design Awards aims to recognize spaces that inspire new –and sustainable– ways of living, working and learning. After evaluating each projects’ methods and contributions to the built environment, the five winners were chosen by panels of design professionals from across the world.
For more information on this year’s Best of Globe winners, visit Shaw Contract’s Design Awards program.