Replacing straight orthogonal lines with soft edges and curvaceous forms. The fluid office spaces, such as the Corian staircase, are inspired by liquid and creams poured out of a tube. To invoke the natural ingredients used in Ego’s products, materials used in the design are natural, sustainable and pleasurable to touch.
Like skin that continually changes, the Melbourne headquarters for Ego Pharmaceuticals was designed to continually evolve, expanding as the company grows (additional floor area was provided on the third level). And rather than being predicable, with corridors simply following on from each other, the broad and transparent floor plates, include surprises at each turn. There’s an element of surprise, slightly whimsical reflecting the ethos of the successful family company whether from the installation of art or the spaces themselves
This office and warehouse for Ego, a pharmaceutical company, appears quite traditional from the exterior. Spaces have been designed to flow into each other thus a dramatic three-level void with a ‘floating’ staircase that ‘pierces’ the core of the office building flooding the interior with light, as well strengthening connectivity between the three floors. Recently being awarded the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 Corian Award, the staircase is not only an artwork in itself, but becomes an important linkage and point of interaction for staff.
Flexible work spaces needed to be addressed, with the result being a broad spectrum of areas, from open plan workstations, enclosed meeting rooms and smaller private booths. Breakout spaces on each of the three levels, including kitchens and balconies, also doubles as informal meeting rooms, catering for the company’s immediate space requirements and allows for growth as the company expands. References are made to the skin and all its properties and expressed in the design, whether through the dramatic staircase or in the workstations, graphics or voluptuous curved partitions to enclosed glass offices. And although this project required serious attention and development, it has a more playful side to design.
As important was to create a comfortable and sustainable work environment, one that begins when staff first arrive. Bike racks and showers cater to those who chose to cycle to work rather than drive and the materials used are recyclable.
Low energy light fittings, the use of low VOC paints and the use installation of glazing over the Corian staircase allowing natural light into the core of the building and filtering beyond.
Crosier Scott also embedded its design with other sustainable features, including recycled water with 200,000-litre water tanks, the use of solar power and a highly developed ‘skin’ for the warehouse that maintains an even temperature without resorting to air conditioning.