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The Value Of Material Narrative: IVE Group Sydney By Hot Black

Homebush West marketing agency IVE Group recently engaged Hot Black to create their 900sqm workplace with the intent to embrace and celebrate the company’s design ethos within the literal fibre of the environment.

With a collective of 90 employees, the planning methodology centralised the collaboration and team orientated zones within the space, acting as the ‘engine room’ of the group. IVE Group has a culture of inviting questions and encouraging open discussions amongst their team, with the workplace ethos thriving on teamwork. In doing so Hot Black translated these internal cultural values by creating an environment that celebrated connectivity and encouraged areas to allow for impromptu stand up meetings, in which staff are able to bump into each other and share.

The centralised built form was a focus in terms of the design principle. This ‘engine room’ aimed to house all the spaces in which connectivity and collaboration were to happen. Corridors activated by informal touch down zones and working walls immersed in the open plan area were installed to promote the internal values of collaboration and transparency within the group. Aesthetically, the designers adopted a minimalistic interpretation and limited the design to purely statements and materials that counted, whilst also celebrating the “loft” style of the space.

However, as with all renovations there were challenges and difficulties that needed to be overcome. Sophie Safrin, Hot Black Design Director commented about the challenges that were faced when designing the workplace. “Timing with the delivery through design to construction was a challenge, which in turn does affect the opportunities with design. The design and delivery timeframe was very tight and we had to work with local organisations and suppliers to ensure the availability of design solutions. Whilst warehouse/loft type spaces are seen as being easier spaces perhaps to work with, they almost always provide challenges. As a design team we need to ensure the services are coordinated effectively and any exposed areas still look appealing when they start to interlock with the new built environment.”

It’s easy to see this was certainly not the case for the final design. The exposed beams, piping and air ducts, uniformed in white give an industrial yet sleek aesthetic to the environment. The use of white and natural lighting lifts the contrasting blacks and dark browns to create a bright and airy workplace that furthers IVE Group’s desire for an open, natural, collaborative environment that fosters staff well-being. Hot Black has taken inspiration from IVE’s workplace ethos and echoed it into the office design, designing an environment that not only looks good but fuels workplace health and productivity.


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