Interior Designer: Corso Interior Architecture
Location: Carlton, Victoria, Australia
Project size: 2000 m2
Completion date 2021
Building levels 2
Photo Credits: Saville Coble
CreativeCubes.Co – Carlton is an inviting and alluring space that follows in the same essence as its sister coworking spaces in South Melbourne, Hawthorn and Cremorne VIC. It provides inspiring facilities in both private and collaborative work settings, and event spaces, providing coworking options for Melbourne based businesses and entrepreneurs.
The building is among excellent company, in a prime location surrounded by some of Melbourne’s most interesting cultural venues, cafés and restaurants. The space can be found situated within the Lygon Court precinct, tucked behind the iconic Italian café and pasticceria Brunetti’s, with Cinema Nova and the Italian museum and historical society in close proximity. The rear of the tenancy leads directly onto Drummond Street, allowing pedestrian access.
Lygon Court was an ex-Pram Factory, demolished in 1980 and later used as an alternative theatre. It has now been totally reimagined into a sophisticated, modern and lively co-working and events space, attracting a broad array of Melbourne’s top-notch entrepreneurs and business executives.
What was the brief?
This vibrant and energetic 2,000 sqm coworking space was designed by the team at Corso Interior Architecture and spans over two levels. CreativeCubes.Co – Carlton is a diverse space that feels like an extension of the local area. With a spacious and relaxed cocktail lounge atmosphere, the team at Corso have transformed this former inner-city dated office building into a warm and welcoming oasis, complimenting the surrounding hustle and bustle of the lively suburb of Carlton.
Interiorly the space is a collaboration of dark finishes, plush leather couches, polished concrete floors and an abundance of natural light. Greenery is generously used to create a sense of calm. The Happiness desk is the in-house concierge service that provides helpful and friendly assistance to CreativeCube.Co users. The bricks used on the Happiness desk located near the entrance on the ground floor mimic that of the facade of the building, bringing the outside in. The skeleton of the building had exposed brick walls which were retained in many parts in order to showcase the original look and maintain elements of the history and style of the original building.
Large murals featuring global themes, foods and flowers helps to create an international vibe. Art features emphasise the thriving diversity of the workspace and match that of the surrounding precinct. From colourful murals such as a Japanese cherry blossom tree to a world map featuring a variety of flowers, each piece brings interest and introduces vibrant colours into the interior space.
Colourful pops of neon are found throughout the interior and clever restroom signage helps to elevate the sense of playfulness in the space. This continues to be a theme throughout the ground floor meeting rooms from an African themed Hakuna Matata space with cheeky tiger print wallpaper, to the Super Mario meeting room with fun and quirky noughts and crosses gameboard wall, complete with gaming inspired flooring.
The floor levels are linked by a bespoke staircase. The modern black patina-ed structure winds up through the ground floor to the first floor and draws the eye as a focal point in the room. The main boardroom situated on the ground level features a herringbone white-wash wall, complemented by industrial glass walls and pendants. High quality goat hair carpets with simple, elegant patterns are used throughout the meeting rooms.
Positioned directly above the staircase to the east of the building is a large glazed opening that washes the interior below in natural light and filters deeply into the open plan area of the first floor. The client brief was to maximise natural light so the gable skylight roof was the perfect solution allowing for the offices to be designed around this central focal point.
What were the key challenges?
There were three key design challenges; spatial design to maximise the buildings use, allowing for an abundance of natural light, and acoustic considerations for users.
From a project viability perspective, the client wanted to ensure that the office space was fully utilised whilst still creating a sense of openness and spaciousness. The team at Corso were able to maximise the space to ensure that every private office and open area has an abundance of light and spaciousness, and each area feels generous and roomy.
It was equally important that the layout allowed for an abundance of natural light to filter in and throughout the venue, providing light and bright meeting rooms, offices and minimising the reliance on artificial lighting therefore reducing energy costs. This was achieved through the use of the central large gabled roof on level one. This large glazed opening allowed for generous amounts of natural light to fill the space and was supplemented by strategically placed catenary lighting.
Thirdly, all of the offices were designed with a wall type that minimises sound from travelling. Open and communal spaces were filled with a mixture of high-backed seating and booths as well as cleverly placed furniture arranged to create a sense of a semi private spaces.
How is the project unique?
Melbournians are craving human connection, a sense of community and the revival of connectiveness. The space at CreativeCubes.Co Carlton delivers all of these in spades. This co-working space fosters connection, collaboration and networking.
Sound proof phone booths that are acoustically lined are an innovative feature that minimises noise. Noise is often a complex aspect of collaborative work spaces, creating design challenges. To combat this, scattered throughout level one of the building are these sound proof booths with vacuum sealed doors creating private little cocoons for important and sensitive business matters to be discussed. Choice of materiality such as acoustic lining in meeting rooms and carpeted floors also help to minimise noise pollution.