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Agile working up-close: Gray Puksand’s new HQ

Find out how Gray Puksand’s recently revamped Melbourne studio is geared up for its progressive and agile workforce. Sandra Tan investigates agile working first-hand as she takes up residence in a variety of architecture practices for a series of stories.

Whenever an architecture studio has the opportunity to play both client and designer, the duality often leads to a more intimate understanding of change management. Particularly with a transition as significant as Gray Puksand’s total refurbishment of its 12-year-old Melbourne office.

In order to remain authentic to the company’s design method, the team endeavoured to follow the same process applied to all of its workplace projects, running a series of staff workshops to air out new concepts.

“This is our usual approach with all of our clients, so it was good to walk the walk with ourselves as clients,” says Heidi Smith, Gray Puksand partner and workspace lead. “I wanted to make sure that we respected our own processes.”

The new design is relaxed, open, and egalitarian. As you enter through the elevator, there is no front desk, and no sense of administrative gatekeeping – rather, guests are encouraged to introduce themselves directly to staff stationed at the first of two main work pods. These undulating stations neatly accommodate informal group interaction, while a number of sit-to-stand desks provide a more engaged work set-up for individuals.

A standout in the office is its playful breakout area, with tiered seating to one wall, and a slick kitchen, which doubles as an in-house presentation and event space. To the rear of the space is the light-filled casual work zone, complete with acoustic pods for private phone calls, and upholstered bench seating, perfect for perching with a laptop.

Formerly taken up by managing partner Robert Puksand’s desk, the corner’s striking city views and natural light have been donated back into this public area – one gesture which speaks volumes of the new project’s thoughtfully democratic intent.

Photography by Tatjana Plitt.

Catch our interview with two of Gray Puksand’s newest directors – Maria Correia, Director of Interior Design Brisbane, and Anna Breheny, Director of Interior Design Sydney.

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