Hillam Architects shines new light on Subiaco

A creative working environment for 40 people was successfully achieved through the execution of smart lighting design and minimal, yet dramatic, materials.

Hillam Architects had 290sqm to create an inviting, open plan workspace that catered for their growing team and encourage internal communication between the company’s divisions.

The spacious office incorporated a pre-existing exposed concrete slab that was painted black, and was complemented by clever modular lighting that links the segregated areas of the office and embraces an Activity Based Workplace (ABW).

“Open, shared zones are supported by a series of workspaces which allow our architects and designers to choose an appropriate space dependent on the task,” says Hillam Architects associate, Hollie Raymond-Baker.

“The workspace features sit-to-stand workstations by Zenith promoting a healthy, active workplace and a more collaborative environment.”

An oversized window on the ground floor acts as the only natural light source for the entire floor plan, which is spread across two commercial spaces of the Encore apartment complex.

Hollie says the lack of natural lighting was not only a hurdle to overcome, but meant that the lighting had to be well designed to work both functionally, and aesthetically.

“The level of natural light was a significant challenge from the outset of the project. The lighting design included a strong, directional linear element tracing the workstations, and also some surface mounted fittings to illuminate people,” she explains. “The office precedents were somewhat industrial but still refined so the linear strong feature lights helped achieve that look. The use of materiality helped to soften the space.”

The modern space embraces an industrial style with concrete and an exposed ceiling in the open planned work space. The ceiling in the kitchen and meeting room softens the space and is a standout design feature.

“Meeting rooms have a veneer acoustic ceiling with custom perforation to match the Kvadrat fabric operable walls. The ceiling, along with the recessed modular extrusion lights, extend through all meeting rooms to the breakout space, allowing the space to read as one when the operable wall is open.”

Matte black veneer and timber add to the dynamic aesthetic, while also adding texture and warmth. Internally, timber and concrete add character and durability, and not only evoke a strong contemporary design, but a first impression that will last.

This project is an entry in the Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards.


Hillam Architects

Photography: Dion Photography