Story by Charles Moxham
Photography by Andrew Pritchard
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Care for our planet's resources is seen throughout the reinvented offices of fit-out specialist ISIS by Kann Finch Group
Company offices can read as a statement of intent – reflecting a firm's view on the world. When its business is commercial fit-outs, the need for a thoughtful design vocabulary is even stronger.
Interiors company Kann Finch has designed all the state office spaces for fit-out specialist ISIS. As the projects have evolved, the emphasis has been on evoking the theme, One ISIS – transformation at work, says project designer Deborah Wallbridge.
"This design approach combines a broad use of materials in their most natural form with an ongoing dedication to recycling material wherever possible. It also entailed a shift from compartmentalised offices to an open-plan office culture."
Highlighting these preoccupations gives ISIS offices an air of honesty and openness, as well as reflecting the energy-saving, budget-friendly approach the company brings to its all its projects.
"In addition to the green elements, each state office has its own stand-out feature that showcases ISIS quality craftsmanship," says Wallbridge.
"In the Perth office, this is a large fractured glass structure, home to the main meeting room and a bidding room alongside – the latter used for sensitive tender negotiations. An operable wall that divides the spaces can be pulled back, creating one large meeting area. This central element is also an object lesson in recycling resources."
"The glass and framing for this eye-catching piece comprises all repurposed materials rescued from a previous fitout which occupied the tenancy before ISIS arrived," says Wallbridge.
While this is a strong green element, nearly every wall and surface throughout the ISIS offices likewise reflects the thought and care that goes into the stewardship of dwindling world resources. Carpets were taken out and the original concrete floors exposed and polished, and the timber decks are in recycled wood, as are the facades on the lift wall at the entrance to the offices.
Ceilings were also exposed – saving on materials and contributing to the sense of honesty that ISIS projects as part of its company personality.
Everything has a simple finish that lets the natural material shine through. If the point needed to be made more strongly, a living wall of greenery forms a backdrop to the reception area.
"These attributes are common to all ISIS state offices, but we wanted to bring in a little of the character of the local environment to each of them as well," says Wallbridge. "Perth is very much an indoor-outdoor environment and to reflect this, outdoor spaces are part of the office make-up."
If the decor reflects an honesty and openness, then so, too, does the layout of the Perth office. A central core leads straight ahead from the lifts, encompassing the reception and fractured glass-clad volume. This leads straight through to the communal breakout area and outdoor spaces at the other end of the office. The open-plan, high-ceilinged nature of the volume makes it feel spacious and welcoming for all. ISIS wanted any visiting clients, sub-contractors or vendors to feel instantly at home here, and part of the team.
To left and right of the core, workstations fan out across the floors. Utility benches and hot desks provide spaces for project managers and project co-ordinators to confer. Informal options are set up around the perimeter – used for meetings with site managers, who are out of the office most of the time, and for use by visitors or clients.
Apart from the glass structure and three senior manager pods, everything is open to view in the egalitarian fit-out. And even these pods can be appropriated for use by other staff needing privacy for a phone call or impromptu meeting.
The smallest element of the ISIS offices adheres to the effective use of resources. Graphics and wayfinding elements are etched onto wall and door surfaces – another saving of materials and a strong visual idea at the same time.
"Wherever you are in the office – working at the desks or bench tables, playing a game of pool, or enjoying a coffee at the perimeter seating, the feel is relaxed and natural," Wallbridge says.
First published date: 30 June 2012
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|Location||ISIS Group Australia offices, Perth, WA|
|Interior designer||Kann Finch Group|
|Sustainability manager, project manager||ISIS|
|Construction company||ISIS Group Australia|
|Mechanical and electrical engineer, fire consultant||GHD|
|Green star consultant||Veritas|
|Window and door joinery||One Enterprise|
|Flooring||InterfaceFlor PolygonFlor, Korda Bros custom rug in reception, Forbo Marmoleum, VCS-certified jarrah, Summer 30 Astroturf from Astro Synthetic Turf|
|Wall coverings||Bulletin board from Duroloid|
|Joinery||Eco-top from BAF, Laminex, Halifax Vogel|
|Ceiling||Painted plasterboard, CSR ceiling tile and grid|
|Veneers||Eco-certified Tasmanian blackwood, structural plywood CC grade from The Woodage|
|Timber||Recycled jarrah from Fremantle Traders|
|Lighting||Café pendant, custom|
|Reception furniture||Lounge chairs by Great Dane Furniture with Soap finish, Knoll Ribbon coffee table in saddle leather|
|Workstations||Recycled Unifor Misura workstations from Office Spectrum|
|Office chairs||Zenith Life Additional furniture Café and breakout tables, Paustian Spinal table; meeting room table, Confair Folding table by Wilkhahn; meeting room and board room chairs, Eames Aluminium Group Management chair from Living Edge; breakout chairs, Paustian Spinal chairs recycled from Office Spectrum, recycled pool table from WA Pool Tables, boardroom table, Custom Smooth Shape conference table by Schamburg + Alvisse; library stools, Eames Walnut Stools from Living Edge; Humanscale monitor arms from Schiavello|