The Commons Coworking Offices – South Yarra

Foolscap brought The Commons unique brand of coworking to a new South Yarra location, using a liberal sprinkling of ‘serious fun’ to attract freelancers back to the workplace.

  • Client The Commons,
  • Year 2021
  • Location South Yarra, Australia,
  • Industry Coworking,
  • Foolscap Studio designed improved amenities workers cannot find at home in The Commons coworking offices located in South Yarra, Australia.

    As we band together and continue to move towards a post-pandemic phase of working, The Commons South Yarra offers an updated vision for what co-working will look like – and feel like – going into the future. In developing the design for this new location, we posed the questions: What will tomorrow’s workplace look like? What motivates us to come into the office, when we can do it all from home?

    Foolscap’s design response is led by what “you can’t get at home”, with special emphasis on collaborative spaces and social interactions, and amenity that feeds a culture of community.

    Serious Fun
    Foolscap applied a disruptive grid to develop the design concept around “serious fun”. “This is based around the idea that The Commons South Yarra is a place where you get to choose your own world and revel in constant contrast,” says Adèle.

    Linear and modular workspaces are broken up by sculptural and fluid break-out zones and fun, engaging elements. A custom staircase offers vertical connectivity, linking the community across the building and drawing people up into the common break-out spaces on the upper levels.

    Bringing synergy to the syncopated floor plate is the materials palette, which shifts in colour, tone and texture as you move up through the four levels of the site. Prints designed by Indigenous Australian artist Jimmy Pike are used to upholster and line different surfaces across the environments.

    Amenity With Added Value
    At the heart of every successful co-working environment is its facilities and amenity. For The Commons South Yarra, Foolscap took this one step further, imagining a series of serviceable zones that cater to group and individual needs in a joyous yet highly multi-functional manner.

    The Commons’ standard facilities have been augmented to include the Makers Space, a fully functioning workshop for those hands-on jobs that involve tasks such as laser cutting, 3D printing, arts and crafts and more.

    A Sensory Room offers patrons time to disengage, meditate or even practise yoga. Shoes are left at the door before stepping into an atmosphere of softness and quietude. Contributing to the hushed sense of calm and clarity is a minimal materials palette, curtain-lined walls, the ambient glow of concealed lighting and passive air circulation.

    Other dedicated amenities include a multimedia podcast studio, photography spaces and parents room.

    Bringing People Together
    At the heart of The Commons South Yarra is its kitchens and dining zone, a vibrant, active and highly hospitable space. Channelling that element of fun, Foolscap has fashioned this space to feel slightly industrial, casual in its non-refinement, and suffused in uplifting natural light.

    Feeding that sense of “serious fun” is the Conversation Pit, a sunken plush lounge built into the space. Modular sofa elements make it flexible to different uses and ideal for collaborative catch-ups.

    The Think Tank is a reconfigurable space designed to facilitate team building and workshop days. From collaboration mode to screening and presentation mode, the Think Tank can cater to all needs thanks to the kitchen and event space situated adjacent. All contributing to an emphasis on spaces that you can’t get working at home.

    Design: Foolscap Studio
    Design Team: Adèle Winteridge, Emily Minchin, Kirby Humphries, Akiko Bamba, Samuel McIntyre
    Photography: Tatjana Plitt