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Is Hollywood Ready For Co-Working?

ACMI X, designed by Six Degrees, brings professionals in the moving image industry together in a co-working space that stimulates creativity and collaboration.

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

  • Photography by Andrew Maccoll

Co-working is one of the fastest growing workplace movements particularly for start ups, freelancers and small businesses. With growth comes specialisation and one of the newest co-working spaces, ACMI X, is dedicated to creatives who work with the moving image. Designed by Six Degrees, ACMI X is part of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, which is reimagining the potential of a museum by showcasing the past and helping to contribute to the future of the industry.

ACMI X provides infrastructure and a platform for cross-disciplinary professionals to work on their own projects as well as to partner on new initiatives related to film and image. “The brief was for a functional and creative non-corporate office space for ACMI X co-workers, ACMI museum staff and the Melbourne office of the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA) that encourages collaboration, cooperation and interaction and can serve as an incubator and support network,” says Peter Malatt, architect and co-director of Six Degrees.

The space has social and work zones arranged around a cruciform of circulation that logically groups ACMI, ACMI X and NFSA workers, and the lack of full-height walls maintains the sense of integration and allows for the productive energy and creative spirit to infiltrate all spaces.

The core design concept of ACMI X is appropriately based on principles of the moving image: panorama, lens, frame, aspect, reflection and sonic. ‘Panorama’ can be seen in the continuation of materiality around corners and curves; mirrors in the main corridor capture image stills, much like the ‘lens;’ screens have perforated circles that ‘frame’ moments; and internal mirroring in the kitchen provides ‘reflection.’ Sight lines through work and social zones maximise ‘aspect’ and the language of the sound studio is represented with flock-coated foam ‘sonic’ panels. “These are a direct rip-off from sound and television studios to remind people where the work is made,” Peter explains. Even the glass windows with neon ‘acmi X’ letters between each frame reads like a strip of film.

Six Degrees also created a non-corporate feel by incorporating somewhat unusual materials for a workspace. Colourful, geometric tiling in the form of a ‘test pattern’ references the technical backup required in all moving image work, while concrete breezeblocks provide thermal mass and sound control and rope screens have a strong natural feel. There are also objects from ACMI’s collection throughout the space, including projectors at the key points of the circulation axis.

Integrating the ACMI X co-working space within ACMI is part of reimagining the contemporary role of a museum. Indeed, ACMI now not only showcases a history of the moving image by way of its collection, but also contributes to the future of the moving image by bringing creative professionals into close proximity. It’s an approach that seeks to more effectively engage the audience and those who directly contribute to and shape the moving image industry.


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