What happens when we take the ‘tech’ out of office design? Analogue business technologies are on the rise again.
May 2nd, 2017
In 2013, Sydney-based firm THOSE Architects was approached to design an office for Ansarada, an Aussie start-up in the financial services sector. Most of the company’s work is done online, presenting the designers with unique opportunities for flexible design.
The space, in Sydney’s Rocks area, was within a heritage-listed space. “Our architectural approach was to treat the fit-out very similarly to the ideology of operating in the cloud, so the building we inherited in Sydney, we were kind of backed into a corner in that way because it was heritage listed. Quite literally we had to get approval from the state-base heritage council in order to fit every last screw.” The resulting spaces had to ‘sleeve’ into the existing fabric. Luckily, because the tech infrastructure was so minimal, this task was much easier.
However, rather than squandering the additional floor space by inserting single function spaces, the designers wanted to make the best use of it. “One thing we try to do with all of our work is to imbue spaces with multiple uses. So rather than dictating uses to our clients we try to create spaces with a second or third use. Say in a house, taking a typical brief from a client that would result in a 300sqm house, we give them a 200sqm that achieves the same through flexibility of design.”
Since developing this first office for Ansarada, THOSE Architects have completed a second fit-out, this time in Chicago. The new site continues and builds upon the lessons learnt in the first project, and reflects an evolution of the company and the relationship with the designers.
Designing for the cloud has resulted in some truly innovative solutions, and some unexpected new ‘business technology’. Read all about THOSE and Ansarada’s development of ‘analogue technologies’ for the workplace in Issue #69 of Indesign, on sale now.
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