Design of Australian fashion manufacturer and retailer, Sheike's head office and warehouse re-location project located in Alexandria. The project consisted of approximately 500sqm of office space and 1200sqm of warehouse.

The business had grown organically over a 30 year period and their existing office and warehouse operation no longer accommodated their needs. The client was going through a rapid business expansion and the new office design brief aimed to re invigorate the established brand.

Working with the client on concept images for the design it soon became apparent that we were on the same page in terms of the design intent. Clean lines and a minimalist approach were adopted for the design development.

The client had purchased an industrial unit with an existing 90's office fit-out and adjoining warehouse as the site. Having the opportunity to totally reconfigure the space, the logical answer was to remove the redundant layers and reveal the interior warehouse shell taking full advantage of the ceiling height available. A new mechanical system was installed with exposed ductwork, existing concrete floor ground and sealed, cable tray was installed throughout to reticulate services and support the new lighting layout.

Taking a minimalist approach while ensuring that whatever we added back into the space was 'functional' really became the concept for the design. To personalise the design, rather than using standard display systems available we specified a mesh from Locker group traditionally used for external security fencing. The mesh doubles as a textured feature when not in use and provides a means of displaying garments in the meeting areas. Perforated ply spatial dividers in the staff kitchen and general office offer acoustic properties and visual warmth.

Bench style desks were customised for the design area to offer flexibility for layout and working in teams. Echo panel screening was provided between the benches with the dual function of operating as an ideas pin board whilst providing acoustic separation to the open plan space. An 'open plan' planning approach was appropriate for the space and business operation due to the collaborative culture, screening was therefore only added where necessary. This created the opportunity to explore the spatial volume to its full potential. The addition of skylights into the existing roof structure increased the amount of natural light on the upper floor. This reduced the need for artificial lighting, benefiting the client in achieving an ongoing reduction in energy consumption through the life of the fit-out while activating the work areas with an abundance of natural light.

Custom furniture and joinery designs were based on a restricted pallet of either black on black or white on white to enhance the simplicity of the forms within the space. There was no applied layering of design elements and texture to achieve a pure and restrained design devoid of 'decoration'.

Sheike was a finalist in the Workplace design category of the IDEA awards 2012 and the Australian Interior Design Awards 2012.

© arnoldlane