From WMK, the fourth Space&Co office in the Melbourne CBD is another chapter in the ongoing design narrative of design of modern co-working spaces.
December 3rd, 2018
When WMK set about designing the 8 Exhibition Street Space&Co co-working space, the practice looked to the past. Specifically to its previous design for Space&Co at 530 Collins Street, only for this space, a more refined and premium aesthetic was required.
For WMK, the challenge was to evolve the established aesthetic and design ideals of the existing Collins Street location. The look and feel of Space&Co had developed around a raw material palette, with stripped back layers alongside more luxurious, refined elements such as plush carpets, soft leather furnishings and lustrous stainless steel.
The new Exhibition Street space previously housed a newspaper printing press, and in its current form, this industrial style has been retained to great effect. The screen-printed blue 22 wall markers and the grey colour blocked raw concrete wall bridges the concierge area and gives the space an industrial chic consistent with the brand’s design narrative. Artist Phoebe Roberts was then brought in and commissioned to engage and work with these design elements, adding abstract graphic wall treatments that acknowledge this history.
Due to a uniquely unbalanced vista layout, the creation of equal, democratic spaces for the co-working the office was difficult – south-east views provided a generous green outlook showcasing iconic Melbourne landmarks such as the MCG and AAMI Park, whereas the northeast is boxed in by skyscrapers.
The solution for WMK was the installation of The Greenhouse in the northeast of the floorplate to bringing the greenery inside, while The Lodge was designed for the southwest, taking full advantage of the views. The Lodge itself is non-bookable – the best seat in the house is available to all of the tenants, all of the time.
Space&Co has already drawn an interesting response from the existing tenants of 8 Exhibition St, who have begun to book out the collaborative project spaces quite routinely. Thanks to WMK’s design processes and vision, the co-working hub – with its communal kitchen, collaboration spaces, and public café – is helping facilitate new connections within a siloed vertical community.
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