Exposed hidden materiality and structure to transform the character

Located in the heart of the city, on the first floor of a two-story building on Bunda St built in 1957, the project was to create an open plan light filled studio for our office. A number of tenancy’s and the corridor in one wing of the building were opened up and joined together into a larger tenancy. As part of this process Mather Architecture sought to expose covered features of the original construction.

By taking up the ceiling, we were able to expose the original black steel trusses and brickwork at high level above the previous ceiling line. This not only creates a greater sense of spaciousness and adds a warehouse character rarely found in central Canberra but created a strong datum line below which open storage and pin boards sit.

The meeting room sits as a pod within this open plan high ceilinged space lined in cork inside and out to reduce noise and allow pinup collaboration. To the side of the primary space a kitchenette and breakout area as well as a quite room for smaller meetings and phone calls has been designed. The design of the space has really helped us as a team collaborate together and with our clients and consultants.

The use of recycled ceiling joists found in the building to make dividing display screens is a key element in the special layout. Natural materials and textures are used carefully in the insertion of joinery and screens. With plywood, cork, terrazzo and felt pinboards as well as hard wood timber making up the material palette. Rounded cutouts are used as a key motif in joinery and MA branding is cut into the cork of the front counter. A cost effective and durable concrete finish has been applied to the existing concrete slab.