Let There Be Light

 10 Jun 2014

Gray Puksand is an architectural practice that creates beautiful workplaces for other people. So, when the company’s Sydney office were designing their new premises, they knew the principles they wanted to apply. At the same time, they wanted to try out new ideas that they could then show their clients. Seven months after moving in, they’re delighted with the results.

“Moving from our old office gave us the chance to experiment,” says partner Scott Moylan. “We talk to clients about different ways of working and here we can show them what we’re talking about.”

The Sydney offices of Gray Puksand architects combine a heritage-listed building with fresh ideas to create a space that’s airy, functional and sophisticated.

The practice demoted the role of its boardroom and moved it to the back of the premises. In the new workplace, nearly all meetings take place in the two ‘collaborative zones’ at the front of the office. The walls here are covered with pinboards for plans, drawings and photographs, with one wall covered with whiteboard paint for note-taking or to act as a projection screen. Moylan explains, “Items on the pinboards stay up for as long as we want, which means everyone can see them and it makes things a lot more collaborative.”

In addition, the practice reduced the size of its workstations, so all staff now work at more slimline desks. Instead, they move around the office more, using the meeting areas to spread out their plans and mix with each other in the light, airy space. It features four-metre- high ceilings and enormous hinged windows that open onto the tree- lined street.

“People walk in, go straight to the windows and say, ‘Isn’t the light wonderful?’” says Moylan. “The natural light was what really attracted us to this space.”

A further bonus was the fact that the office is on the first floor. “We liked the idea of walking up the stairs,” Moylan explains. “We like the street noise, too – it gives a sense of being part of the urban environment.”

“We’ve specified Zip for long enough to know that it works.”

Despite being in a heritage-listed building that dates back to 1897, the office has a highly contemporary, sophisticated feel, thanks to its palette and furnishings. The original timber flooring is complemented by white painted interior; the two long, white meeting tables are accompanied by white chairs around one and pale-green café- style chairs around the other; black pendant lights hang from the ceiling.

“Our clients say this is the sort of place they expect us to be in,” says Moylan, who describes the practice’s former workplace as a standard commercial office. “The move gave us a fresh start and a sense of renewal. It’s a wonderful space; we’re really lucky to have it.”

"Article taken from Boiling Point issue no. 19, published by the Indesign Media Asia Pacific. Words by Nigel Bartlett, Photography by Tyrone Branigan, Architect and Interior Designer by Gray Puksand"