The structure, all steel windows and thick concrete block work, used to be an old CSIRO printing library in the 1960’s, and over the last four months has been transformed by local architect Jerry Wolveridge and his firm into a collaborative workspace with a difference.
Comprising ceilings exceeding 4m and constructed to strict Commonwealth Gov’t standards on the Byron Street plot, the space oozes industrial history and charm.
“For us it was retracing this recent history,” says Jerry.
“We searched through a stack of old CSIRO documents and learned as much as we could about the history of the building.”
The name: Building No. 2, sits emblazoned on the concrete wall in powerful black lettering and underneath, a bright blue door reflects the CSIRO brand.
“Trawling through piles of information, we were intrigued by the formality of the provided documents and the evident filing systems, in particular the dynamic visual of the stamp,” explains Jerry.
“Grin Creative came up with the logo based on the concept of the stamp, and the blue door is based on the CSIRO website – their brand is the blue.”
Through the blue door sits the building’s core.
A set of offices and communal spaces, each individual room, and indeed the collective interior again highlight the history of the space.
It embodies what Jerry describes as “the simple strength of the building,” with pouring natural light from original skylights, and wonderful features like tall steel windows and original fire doors.
“We just tried to really use the space for what it is,” he says.
“We’re using the existing building to create a range of different types of working arrangements.”
Split over two levels, the building consists of four private offices and 12 dedicated desk spaces in the communal work area plus a flexi-desk area adjacent the ground floor courtyard.
“All of the offices are different and have different attributes that will appeal to different people,” says Jerry.
There’s also a meeting room with large screen, high speed internet connection and VR facilities. Downstairs, members can use a fully equipped kitchen for entertaining and hosting meals.
The building’s north facing courtyard space has also been transformed, becoming a leafy, open oasis that Jerry says will be available for functions and events.
“It’s just a very simple unadorned industrial building and its fabulous quality is its scale and volume of space,” says Jerry.
“You’ve got hydronic heating, high speed Internet, abundant natural light and an open work space all in this fabulous, quality middle century industrial building.”