Hudson Conway Headquarters

  • Type Commercial
  • Client Hudson Conway
  • Location Mebourne
  • Description A lease of life
  • Collaborators Peter D. Cole
    Stephen Hennessey
    John Gollings
  • Construction 2018
  • Photography John Gollings
  • Design Powell and Glenn Pty Ltd
  • Architect Ed Glenn

A prime yet non-descript inner-city office, less than 30 years old, waits for a lease of life and renewal. One of a suite of identical buildings, a plan to differentiate is required.

It starts with the façade that is given its own identity, pointing to a ‘new’ hidden building rather than being part of an established, exposed row. The entrance shifts gear. The old, transparent entrance closed off, a large format arched doorway is constructed as a striking new façade. Immediately behind it, a garden leads into a reimagined workplace inviting comparisons to a gallery/warehouse workspace, with little traces of the original ’90s office building.

The original floorplan is gutted with only the four exterior walls remaining. Full height windows and 3.4-metre ceilings (free of bulkheads) make for a magical sense of scale. A rough, curved wall runs down the whole spine of the building. A central, double-height courtyard is added, bringing a whole new study of light to the building.

The design acknowledges that whilst its client does not work in a creative industry, there is no reason that the workplace cannot be a place of inspiration. Concrete floors, vertical oak paneling, a series of sculptural details by Peter D. Cole, feature lighting by Stephen Hennessey and architectural photography by John Gollings.

The process of stripping back and rebuilding is complete. It is now time for the workforce of 20 to enjoy the light, space and sense of place.

This project was shortlisted for the 2019 Australian Interior Design Awards.