A Place to Collaborate – by Siren Design

 23 May 2019

By blending modern and industrial design, Melbourne studio Siren Design has created a collaborative workplace for a forward- looking company.

For an energy company that prides itself on technical expertise and agility, as well as future-focused energy solutions and a desire to drive and embrace change, Beon Energy Solutions (from parent company CitiPower Powercor) needed an office that truly reflected its values. The new Melbourne HQ needed to be modern, forward-looking and reflective of the company’s points of view, whilst also adhering to the needs of its employees.

Local practice Siren Design was tasked with creating the new office, taking over a run-down warehouse in one of Melbourne’s iconic CBD laneways and transforming it into a dynamic working environment for a modern company. Formerly a storage and band rehearsal space, the warehouse sat above an existing substation and was full of history, character and potential. Unique architectural elements – trusses, bare brick walls, concrete floors and a roller door – were retained to celebrate the original use of the building, updated and enhanced to create a space that was unique and contemporary, and that suited a modern team’s needs.

The steel trusses were left exposed and painted black, creating a stark and contemporary contrast to the fresh white ceiling, while the existing concrete flooring remains throughout. Bright, colourful murals by local artist Daniel Wenn add personality to the office and further reinforce Beon Energy’s unique stance on energy consumption. The roller door on the exterior of the building features a bright character, welcoming staff and visitors though the laneway entrance and adding colour to the red brick façade. Different murals continue throughout the office space, highlighting Melbourne’s vibrant street art scene while accentuating the theme of power, energy and vibrancy that runs through the core of Beon.

Other additions include a central steel- framed glass rectangular volume that sits at the centre of the office. Featuring yellow graphics that gradually fade from the floor up, this new structure is a bold statement within the space, while providing a sense of privacy for the meeting rooms and quiet areas it houses.

Central to the brief from Beon was to promote natural collaboration and interaction between staff members, meeting with and learning from one another. Workstations were placed in an open plan setting, encouraging flexibility and connection between team members, while communal spaces were placed at the entry of the office and in the centre of the floorplan.

Sustainability was a key part of creating the new office environment, realised through the design of the space as well as the items that fill it. As a warehouse, natural light conditions were relatively poor. Improvements were made to the existing windows to allow for more natural light to flood into the space, with the addition of motorised blinds installed to allow for privacy and light adjustment when needed.

Sustainability continued through to the fixtures and fittings that were chosen, while still ensuring staff members’ needs were given priority. Take the Zip HydroTap Classic, for example, which was chosen for the staff kitchen - offering instant filtered boiling, still and sparkling water, encouraging increased water consumption and promoting healthy practices in the workplace. Constructed from raw materials and built to last with unique, innovative technology, the tap promises longevity, and an easy-to-use energy efficient solution. The contemporary and sleek design complements the rest of the office, which is a combination of industrial meets modern style.

The new Beon Energy Solutions workplace is a unique design and one that reflects a company that’s doing things a little differently, offering an environment that’s motivational and full of personality.