Designed by TomMarkHenry, NYC co-working phenomenon WeWork sprouts a new location in Martin Place’s former Commonwealth Bank building, fondly nicknamed the ‘Money Box’.
September 19th, 2017
Martin Place’s former Commonwealth Bank building, fondly nicknamed the ‘Money Box’ has been recognised as one of Sydney’s most outstanding office towers and now, thanks to WeWork and TomMarkHenry, the interior space suitably fits the title too. Sydney-based interior architecture and design practice TomMarkHenry collaborated with New York-based co-working business WeWork for the design and fit out of its first Australian co-working space.
TomMarkHenry, founded in 2014 is based in Darlinghurst, Sydney, and prides itself on its empathetic and engaging designs. “Core to our success is our investment of time into the creative development of every project, along with our ability to remain adaptable throughout the process to ensure a sympathetic outcome to the needs of every project. We place a high value on human connection and cultural impact to create unique, engaging and functional environments that make a positive contribution to their physical location and liven the senses and habitat of the people who experience them.” With such an experienced and highly skilled team it made sense that WeWork enlisted TMH to work closely with them to realise their vision in opening its first two locations in Sydney (Martin Place and Pyrmont). “WeWork was opening its first two locations in Sydney and wanted to work with a young and ambitious local design firm to inject an exciting edge into their first Australian fit outs,” says Cushla McFadden, director at TomMarkHenry.
Taking cues from the original heritage building and WeWork’s own design aesthetic the redesign takes inspiration from the building’s banking history with a rich colour palette of navy blue, deep green and burgundy, and accents of brass and marble. Modern touches of pale pink and bright blue provide contrast and complement WeWork’s global brand aesthetic. The bank teller desks in the building’s lobby inspired the custom-designed hot desks, with the herringbone floors, custom built-in nooks, phone booths and lighting; and curves and materials, such as brass, velvet and rattan reminiscent of the building’s origins. “The various spaces needed to feel warm, inviting and lively for members to interact. We designed flexible gathering spaces that feel informal; lounge spaces that function for casual meetings and as places to eat and socialise; and communal pantries that are a hub of activity from the start of the day to the end.”
As WeWork has a community-driven culture with a focus on art and design, it was important to TomMarkHenry to make sure this was just as noticeable in their Sydney offices. TomMarkHenry enlisted the help of local Sydney artists such as Diego Berjon and Kate Banazi to design murals and collages that embody WeWork’s community spirit. “The final result is an exciting co-working space that balances heritage and new elements to create a dynamic atmosphere for WeWork members to work and socialise,” says McFadden.
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