Home' Commercial : WAs Best Commercial Designs 2011 Contents 114 WA’s Best Commercial Designs 2011
“In the Perth market particularly, skills shortages are at all-time highs
in direct response to the resources boom,” remarks Derek. “It’s hard to
retain or attract staff as the salaries being offered on basic industries are
at inflated price points.
“Offering an inspiring, fun and fresh work environment – it’s one of
the key points for staff to belong and feel like they’re part of something
image-worthy. Let’s face it, working in a stale grey environment does not
encourage confidence or personality.”
According to a study conducted by the British Council for Offices,
workplace is responsible for as much as 24 per cent of job satisfaction. In
addition, good office design can decrease absenteeism by 15 per cent and
increase productivity by between five per cent and 20 per cent.
Beyond job satisfaction and productivity, it’s also about creating an image.
The way a building looks inside and out has a profound effect on what people
think about the organisation it houses and how they relate to it.
Companies need to think about what sort of image they wish to create
and the values they wish to express physically in buildings and workplaces
– in terms of both staff and clients.
Trojan Horse Interiors recently completed an office fitout for Bellcourt
Property Group. “We focused our efforts on creating a warm and friendly
environment, where the client would feel they were being welcomed into
the home of their service provider, rather than into a serious and hostile
meeting point,” says Lara.
“As the client has a very strong identity and branding style, we wanted
to incorporate their visual elements without over-branding the fitout.
By manipulating the logo in subtle variations, including white-on-white
wallpaper, embossed timber panels and wallpaper film decals, we’ve created
a professional interior that leans towards a residential feel.”
RESIDENTIAL FEEL AND OTHER AESTHETICS
Lara says more and more clients are moving towards a residential,
home-like feel to their offices. “People are spending more time at work
than they are at home, so they are wanting to be more comfortable.”
Much of it comes down to aesthetics. “That clinical office look is
being phased out, with more of an emphasis on vibrancy and character.
Offices are being well lit with a combination of natural and artificial
lighting. There are a lot of clean, fresh walls, adding colour with fabrics,
printed screens and wall graphics.”
Derek Hays says clients taking the “eco-sustainable approach” are
requesting to move away from the rigid high screens, and open out spaces
to become more flexible, raw and contemporary. “This is referred to as
undressing the interior,” he says. “It is expected that there will be more
demand for ‘less’, rather than ‘more’ on building interiors.
“Floors are becoming more raw,” he adds. “Gone are the heavy uses of
stale, drab carpet tiles and welcome are the polished concrete surfaces.
“And in terms of colours, they are more crisp and clean. The fear of using
white seems to be gone and the implementation of colours across the board is
more fresh. Greens and yellows, or even pink, are becoming more acceptable.
It is a more refreshing and fun approach to the conservative olds.”
Innovations in surface products, such as the creation of magnetic wallpapers
and whiteboard paint, which can turn a whole wall into a whiteboard, are also
having an impact on office design. c
ABOVE The design by Trojan Horse Interiors for Cape Bouvard Developments promotes a warm, residential atmosphere.
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