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Bvn Brisbane Studio Photo Christopher Frederick Jones Yellowtrace 04

With a shift in attitude towards flexible working, BVN’s design for their Brisbane Studio carefully balances the positives of a workplace environment with the comforts of a home office. Built around core principles of a collaborative space while being attentive to the site context, the design skilfully blurs the boundaries between the interior and outdoor spaces to accommodate the attitude shift. Occupying the third and fourth floor of ‘The Annex’ (also designed by BVN)—on 12 Creek Street and closely located to the Brisbane River dotted with lush fig trees—it created the perfect opportunity for the architects to establish a serene collaborative environment.

At 970 square metres, the interior is designed with the underpinning principle of Connection to Country. With the rich context embedded in the existing site, the planning ensured each space acts as a ‘constant reminders of Country’. A dichotomy of inside and outside spaces is subtly distinguished by the sculptural concrete floor, with concrete plinths transforming into multifaceted furniture and planters to create a garden veranda and lounge. Metal climbers are also installed for plants to thrive within the office, simultaneously acting as an aesthetic safety barrier when the awning windows on the building façade are being opened. Conscious to create a healthy working environment, these garden spaces are transformable into workspaces at the users’ will.

 

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In the core of the office on both floors is a cluster of desks as the main working and collaborative space, while kitchen, fabrication and meeting rooms are positioned at the back of the floorplate. Despite the arrangement, a lack of solid partitions (if not transparent ones) are installed to ensure individuals have the opportunity to remain connected with the external surroundings.

With the views on the third and fourth floor giving the impression that the building is built on top of a tree canopy, it was integral the interior didn’t sever the playful metaphor. Spaces manifest with an industrial nod through the exposed ceiling and use of black steel frame affectionately known as ‘the rachis (a flowering spine)’ grids and stretches throughout, serving as shelving, decoration and implied thresholds. These strong lines complement the existing curtain wall façade of the building while giving a geometric organisation to what feels like a contemporary floating greenhouse.

 

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The frame provides strength in supporting the weight of concrete hanging plants dotted in areas that lack frequent access to the thriving jungle. As the sunrays strike at different times of the day, different shades of emerald dapple themselves on the light concrete, complimenting the warm mustard and timber woven furniture dotted around the area while offsetting the cold palette of steel and concrete.

Still establishing a connection with the outdoors and maintaining an optimistic space for collaboration, BVN’s Brisbane studio highlights the obvious signatures of an architecture office in a comforting manner. But then, the thought of a meditative view of the green canopy and plants surrounding me each day—it’s pretty difficult to say no to working in an office like this.

 

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