Techne Architecture + Interior Design Offices – Melbourne

Technē Architecture + Interior Design has completed the design for their studio located in Melbourne, Australia.

The contemporary workplace is much more than an office. As well as somewhere to be productive, it’s a social space that encourages valued staff to feel at home, it’s a client-facing sales tool, it’s a branding device.

Technē Architecture + Interior Design is driven to translate its achievements in the hospitality sector – the practice is renowned for its richly textural projects across Flinders Lane and wider Melbourne – into workplace design.

Working with Technē directors Justin Northrop, Nick Travers and Steve McKeag, senior associates Gabriella Gulacsi and Dana Hutchins lead the practice’s new workplace offering, placing focus on a concept they call ‘strategic ambience’.

Technē believes strategic ambience is becoming an intrinsic part of generating authenticity and Gulacsi defines it as achieving an atmosphere of cohesiveness between different functional spaces within a workplace.

Technē sees many parallels between workplace and hospitality design, where enticing environmental design is a non-negotiable for any successful offering.

The move to agile work practices, so transformative only a decade ago, is now only a starting point for a broader conversation around overall user experience – an approach that, in itself, Gulacsi and Hutchins say is an emerging trend in workplace design.

A user experience approach usually begins with a consultation process, finding out what is most valued by staff. It considers workers’ movement throughout the day and looks at how every space might be enriched. For example, if staff work in clusters they may appreciate a nook – somewhere more amenable than a bare corridor – where they can make a personal phone call. User experience considers the personalities of those working in the space – some, for example are introverted while others are outgoing and gregarious, all of which influence successful workplace design.

Technē had the chance to thoroughly test its workplace design principles and the strategic ambience concept when it recently relocated its studio from the Melbourne CBD to Carlton, near the city’s edge.

The company began with a two-part workplace survey, firstly asking staff where they would like to be located and in what kind of building. A collective preference was voiced for a standalone building in an inner suburb. Next, a survey on office design found a strong preference for collaborative, flexible spaces.

Technē’s approach to assigning desks was conducted with a team to facilitate collaboration and allow for rotations. Sit-to-stand desks were the selected to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace.

Unique features are aligned to the core brand values of the company. For instance the workshop celebrates bespoke hand-crafted design and embodies the directors’ motivation to ‘create’. Pinboards running the length of the office also feature and are essential to the team’s design process, encouraging dialogue and acting as a communication mechanism to the broader team.

Along with a strategic ambience, sociality and a ‘hospitality’ atmosphere were also important to the staff. Textural furniture choices such as a marble meeting desk paired with cane-backed chairs showcase unique design yet are perfectly in keeping with Technē’s strategic and architectural approach over a stylised aesthetic.

DesignTechnē Architecture + Interior Design
Photography
: Tom Blachford