Highly Commended in Architeam Awards 2018; Commercial.
Polyglot is not corporate, it is not slick. It is not a polished new-materials-on-wall-ceiling-floor office fitout. Neither is it a normal warehouse conversion; industrial heritage polished up alongside detailed contemporary intervention. Instead it is a true palimpsest, an insertion into a heritage space that through careful zoning and layout of a design parti enhances what is there with what has been added, achieving maximum impact.
Polyglot, a not-for-profit children’s theatre company; with ‘children at the heart of our art’. They approached us to help find a suitable site and interpret / extrapolate the brief into compliant grant documentation subsequently approved with a matched-funding model. The Sacred Heart building at Abbotsford Convent was the perfect fit, an alignment of philosophy and values. We helped select a soaring first-floor space with exposed trusses, peeling paint and lost tiles a palimpsest of the former young women’s ward at the convent, complete with decorative metal bars still on the windows. An extraordinary space, light flooding in, with the curiosity of a beautiful pale yellow, teal and lavender screen in one corner and in the other corner pale yellow tiles. We articulated the dichotomy that although a company for children, it was an office for adults; yet we wanted to design a space with a sense of playfulness, wonder and joy. We wanted a design that was also socially-sustainable, with local or Australian-made products sourced wherever possible.
The design solution is centred around; the Polypod! A bold curved polycarbonate boardroom pod designed to draw the eye across the space in an optical illusion that transforms the entire tenancy, giving maximum impact.
At a more subtle level there is actually a parti of 5 elements; The Heritage Screen, Reading Nook, Co-Lab Tables, Polypod and The Greenery......read more below....
PARTI OF 5 ELEMENTS
2018 IDEA Awards - Commercial Shortlisted
2018 Architeam Awards - Highly Commended
2019 Workspace Awards - Shortlisted
The Heritage Screen;
Original feature restored. Lightly sanded, original pastel faded paint and heritage protected. Shields kitchen area, with lightly fixed joinery and heritage basins still visible underneath benchtops, original terrazzo below.
Informal banquette setting defined by the heritage yellow tiles, utilising Australian-made Warwick fabric upholstery and Shaw-Contract carpet, with the unique adhesive system meeting the strict requirements of the heritage permit.
Mobile collaboration tables fostering creative communication, the space defined by the bamboo cloches from Koskela, itself a socially-sustainable company.
The boardroom pod clad in striking verticals of curved coloured polycarbonate and a stunning green interior that uncannily references the heritage colours of the space and is detailed to reinforce its sculptural nature.
The custom desks house a planter that defines the edge of the working zone, providing perceived privacy with well-acknowledged benefits and detoxification that indoor plants provide. The Mr Kilty planter pots - a budget-friendly design classic from an Australian designer - use planting to define entry areas and mark circulation routes.