Friday 16 Aug 2013
Showcasing the creation of a new life for an old building, Landini Associates' brief was to restore the former Collingwood industrial warehouse into the new headquarters base for T2.
The aim was to respect and celebrate the original building, while creating a dramatic statement to represent the T2 company ethos. Throughout the building, timber beams, columns and brick walls were sandblasted to bring back their original finish, whilst a few scuffs and marks are kept as a remembrance of its history. This was contrasted with T2's trademark dark, streamlined palette.
Perceived constraints were turned into an advantage, exploiting various levels within the warehouse while designing a unified space. This was due to the site being located on a sloped block through to the rear street.
The results was the creation of different arrival experiences for both the public and staff. With the street frontage lower than the general entry, the public is ushered into the space through an oversized steel framed pivot door into a double height space. Led by concrete steps, guests are greeted by a spotlighted oversized T2 logo featured in incandescent light bulbs. To the left of the entrance is a Tea Bar, a façade reception. In comparison, the staff entry is from the upper level rear car park, from where they walk down onto a lavish catwalk in the centre of the office warehouse. This acts as both a uniting feature and as the site's backbone, yet separates the space into two. Both sides of the railings feature different faces.
While the rawness and industrial experience is continued upstairs to the tea making and tasting workshop and CEO's office, a completely different colour palette is entertained. It emphasises a white, clean space, encouraging light and nature to transfix the room through the opened windows.
The development marks a new era for T2, providing an innovative and functional office space that reflects a deep understanding of culture, urbanity, and of course, celebrates the centuries-old art of tea-making.