Mirvac has a new office designed with care and detail that hits the mark in amenity and comfort for employees and clients alike.
November 10th, 2022
Mirvac Design is well known for its developments, primarily in the residential sector. When the time came to re-design its Melbourne office, who better than design director and head of interiors at Mirvac Design, Matthew Sheargold, and the interior design team to create the new workplace? Bringing residential luxury into the work environment, Mirvac Design has created a sophisticated but not indulgent interior that has actually motivated employees to return to the office in droves.
The Mirvac Melbourne office in Southbank is spread over the two uppermost floors of the building. There are excellent city views outside but, inside, the traditionally designed workplace required an overhaul to update the 30-year-old base building and interior. With 1400 square metres of floorspace, Mirvac Design has infused the interior with a residential aesthetic to make this workplace feel like a home away from home.
From the central core and lift, visitors enter a reception and concierge area with adjoining lounge that is more akin to a hotel lobby than waiting area. There are sleek cream-coloured fully-upholstered sofas and a beautiful striated marble coffee table to complement the bespoke off-white saddle leather feature wall that is oh-so-refined and just a little bit different.
Further on, and at the front of the floor, is the events and entertainment hub with kitchen, bar and breakout area. Meanwhile, a staircase contained by veneer timber has been placed to the side to connect this level with the floor above. This large townhall area is flexible and can be re-configured to suit every occasion, whether social or work or both, and small groupings of chairs and window-side benches with high seats provide alternative places to meet.
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At the rear, and encircling the central core of the building, are the open plan working spaces with various sized meeting rooms located around the periphery. Numerous working options, including traditional workstations or sit-stand desks and a special space for open collaboration, are all on offer and ensure a streamlined working environment. A set of ‘phone booths’ provide small spaces for one person to chat privately, while the majority of this floor is really all about collaborative working and enhanced communication. Upstairs are two boardrooms catering for 12 and 16 people.
This project is a showcase for Mirvac, what they does and what they can do. Mirvac Design has interpreted the brief to reflect the brand using minimal palettes to maximum effect. Working with a fixed budget — not easy at this time with trades and materials at a premium — the design has a wonderfully relaxed residential feel despite being a workplace, not a home. It is certainly representative of the type of projects undertaken by Mirvac and encapsulates clever creativity.
Materiality informs the colour palette that is minimal and soothing, with creams, light timber and stone hues alongside dramatic accents of black. Porcelain tiles with a stone pattern have been used on the kitchen island bench and facades, honey-coloured timber battens are affixed to ceilings, a reconstituted timber veneer has been employed on cabinetry and the stair, while there is also that wonderful leather wall in the lobby.
Mirvac is committed to sustainability initiatives including reducing its carbon footprint and designing out waste. Where possible, products were sourced locally and key products such as carpet (Interface), workstations (Steelcase), seating (Herman Miller) and occasional lighting (Ross Gardam), were sourced from companies with a solid commitment to circular economy.
Paints, adhesives and sealants used are low VOC and the veneer chosen, Evenex from Elton Group, is a 3D-printed product using wood pulp made from pure wood fibre. Unlike typical laminates this contains no formaldehyde, PVC or melamine. Even designing out waste informed the patterns used in flooring and wall cladding, ensuring any leftover pieces could still be utilised with the design.
As with each of Mirvac’s offices it is essential that an environment is created inclusive of the local traditional custodians of the land. The townhall space is named Wominjeka meaning ‘Welcome’ in Woi Wurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri people, the traditional owners of Naarm (Melbourne). The boardrooms on level nine are called Naarm and Birrarung (river in Woi-Wurrung) and local Indigenous artist Simone Thomson was responsible for three key art pieces within the office. Thomson was also commissioned to create a custom sculptural piece using emu feathers for the reception which hangs on the wall above the lounge.
In creating the concept for this office there was a requirement for it to be a place that supported and celebrated Mirvac’s most valuable asset, its people — one that enhanced health and wellness, and of course promoted Mirvac’s business. All three have been realised. The general tone of the design is highly accomplished and the pared-back and restrained luxury is highly functional and flexible. It’s a place to bring clients to, to work in comfort and to hold events that showcase the business. Mirvac Melbourne’s new office design is sophisticated and timeless, setting just the tone for both business and pleasure.
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