A homely workplace environment that evokes aspirational apartment living

Source: Woods Bagot

One consequence of COVID-19 has been the blurring of lines between home and work. This workplace welcomes back its workforce with a warm and restrained natural palette, real materials, and furnishings and finishes that feel like home.

Woods Bagot has designed a bespoke workplace interior for boutique luxury developer Blackburne Property Group, creating an interior environment inflected with the same high-end and domestic feel of their residential offering.

Blackburne had specified the need for a workplace that exuded their philosophy for cultivating lifestyle through considered architecture, and spatial design that generated a palpable sense of brand identity. “It needed to feel warm and client-facing, and to instill in their customers a confidence in their service when they came to collect their keys,” says project leader Jess Callanan.

Blackburne established themselves within their own flagship development “ONE Subiaco”, completed early 2022, on the site of the former Subiaco Pavilion Market. The development serves as a vibrant mixed-use community to more than 500 new residents and ten new businesses, generating fresh life within the heart of Subiaco.

Within the level one tenancy, the Blackburne workplace is defined by three key user experiences – the visitor, the worker, and the social experience – each defined through subtle changes in materiality, from the warm, rich tones of the visitor space to the fresh, light palette of the working and social spaces.

The visitor, or front-of-house, experience is designed with a rich palette of warm timber tones, polished concrete floors, soft furnishings and luxe floor rugs, communicating to the visitor the company’s premium offering, the moment they step across the threshold.

Moving into the next zone, the “workspace” is open, light and fresh, with paler tones of polished concrete, knotted rugs, greenery, and simple but elegant cabinetry detailing. The exposed ceiling soffit and services create a sense of height, with areas of dropped ceiling to create intimacy where required.

The social experience is connected to the outdoor terrace as space for the team to come together and “celebrate their wins”. The social space seamlessly converts into an flexible entertainment space for client functions and important occasions, and a games and informal meeting space is tucked away behind the kitchen, creating a semiprivate retreat for informal gatherings.

“The overall scheme was warm, natural timber in a walnut finish that helped to ground and solidify the space. This wrapped around the core and links the three discrete spaces together,” says Callanan. “The flooring is a light in-situ stone that ran through the space, which is paired with a light and refreshing palette.”

The workspace is visible to the street, designed to respond to its immediate context and contribute to the wider Subiaco community feel. “The new development is right in the thick of the Subi hub,” she says.

“The office is on level one, which slightly overhangs the street, and you can view it from the train station. We wanted to activate these beautiful arched columns, which are lit up at nighttime, by giving them space in the built environment. The development really brings life back into the heart of Subiaco.”

Blackburne workplace has been shortlisted for the Design Institute of Australia’s (DIA) Designers Australia Awards under the ‘Place’ category.