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Modern Workplace Design: Where Heritage Meets the Future

In Cox Architecture’s latest Brisbane studio renovation, modern design brings stunning building heritage to the forefront.

Modern design goes beyond clean lines, simplicity, natural materials and uncluttered spaces. Sustainability – both in terms of environmental impact and longevity of created spaces – is becoming a centrepiece of any contemporary design.

And that’s the case for Cox Architecture’s latest Brisbane studio renovation. Grounded in themes of collaboration and fluidity, the renovated space is a celebration of modern, agile workplace design with the backdrop of Brisbane’s industrial heritage.

The design, created to encourage cooperation, accountability and agile ways of working, honours the history of the building as it adapts the office to the contemporary nature of the practice – lessening the need for ‘new’ materials and energy in the process.

The lateral character of the studio maintains visual cohesion throughout and ensures all can enjoy the sweeping views of Botanical Gardens and Brisbane River. Its open layout encourages collaboration, transparency and participation, while a variety of working spaces and break-out areas, such as team tables or a virtual reality space, create opportunities for interactions, moments of reflection or individual work, relief from a busy day – or a burst of creativity

The kitchen is filled with natural light and forms the social heart of the space. The area, fitted out with an inviting seven-metre long table, encourages relaxed interactions between the staff or when welcoming clients into the office. The proximity to the adjacent open board room allows for the bigger space to be transformed into a Town Hall, bringing staff together for various events.

On the benchtop, the attention to detail further elevates the modern aesthetic of the design, while embracing the functional character of the area. For one of the essential fittings in the kitchen – the faucet – Cox Architecture selected Zip HydroTap. It not only helps to maintain a healthy work environment by providing easy access to instant filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water. The sleek and energy-efficient Zip HydroTap has been built from raw materials and boosts the sustainability credentials of the space. At the same time, its durable construction featuring the latest innovative technology ensures longevity.

The sleek appliance fits in with the overall aesthetic of the new space where any new interventions were limited to highlight the buildings’ original heritage. The matte black finish complements the modern palette featuring black timber with steel and brass detailing. At the same time, its simplicity helps the original elements of the building – a timber fish-bone structure, a series of cast-iron columns, a patina of colour and texture – shine through.

The resulting space is a unique marriage of Brisbane’s industrial heritage with Cox Architecture’s modern touch. It embraces the past, responds to contemporary business requirements and provides for the future needs of the practice. All the while, prioritising the environmental impact of the project.

Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

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