Birkenstock Australia HQ

Melbourne / Australia / 2013

33
33 Love 5,351 Visits Published

The Birkenstock Australia HQ Cool contemporary design, with a warm feel and an holistic approach to sustainability, results in a series of spaces that are a joy to be in and to work in. The multi-awardwinning design succinctly translates the brand’s core values into a spatial experience, intuitively illustrating Birkenstock’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality, to health and sustainability.


Scope
The run-down heritage building was brought back to its former glory, extended and complemented by a contemporary fitout. The new headquarters consist of wholesale offices, workshop, courtyard, retail space, online store, and a warehouse with newly inserted Mezzanine storey as wholesale showroom.


Concept
The layout allows for spontaneous staff encounters, unifying different departments into one company culture through the design. A new central core connects, with staff amenities as meeting points between the levels. The shopfront becomes a single point of entrance, so all staff experience the 'front end', where shoe meets customer.


Design follows values
Birkenstocks are natural, handcrafted, healthy shoes. This is reflected in the design; from concept to detail, the HQ promotes a healthy lifestyle / workplace. Both natural materials and nature itself form an integral part of the design.


Healthy, Natural, Sustainable
Carefully selected greenery is built into the sustainable design, working as 'air-purifiers' throughout : Remaining emissions / offgasing from low VOC materials get filtered and cleansed by carefully selected planting.


An element of surprise
Traditional materials/elements are put into new context : Plants are replacing office screen partitions, plywood forms a complete interior covering all surfaces in some areas, the shopfront uses natural grass for flooring and a ‘homely’ fireplace invites customers to relax at the tea bar within the shop.


Social Sustainability & Health
Beside environmental and health concerns, social sustainability is key to this project. The open plan office encourages team work instead of hierarchical structures. The desks are laid out around a central 'island', inviting teams to a discussion, or a quick chat over a freshly-made coffee at the Barista end of the unit. Staff can change work positions and work sitting at their desk, standing at the island, in quiet areas or even on outside decks. Personal filing is being kept in reconfigured aeroplane trolleys - that form a supergraphic when docked in under the central island - or that can be taken along when working from different spaces. The Birkenstock Australia MD says: “We wanted spaces to inspire our customers and staff ... the feedback we’ve received is 100 per cent positive!”


More on Sustainability
Passive & Active ESD Systems
Sustainable design has been a key focus in the project, including - the integrated indoor planting, - added thermal mass in exposed brickwork/concrete floors, - drop-down fabric/timber shades to new double glazed windows - insulated plasterboards, - daylighting strategies & cross-ventilation, solar PV/HWS, heat-recovery VFR, etc Bamboo ceiling fans help reduce the office temperatures, minimizing hours of operation for the heating/cooling system, aiming for a carbon neutral ensemble.


Selections
The design palette features natural and sustainable materials, like sustainably forested local sugargum with linseed oil finish, E0-plywood, natural rubber, benchtops from recycled paper with bamboo fibre, low VOC paints, recycled bricks, 6star WELS-rated tabs, Dyson Airblades, multi-compartment tidy bins encouraging recycling even in the staff kitchen, dual flush 3/6 litre toilets, and of course the natural plants perfecting indoor air quality while featuring in the design.


Adaptable Shopfront
The north-facing shopfront display consists of 2 layers of operable glazing, with turf inbetween. Adapting to climate conditions, the outer layer can be opened while the inner facade remains in shade, or the shopfront can be fully opened for cross-ventilation, or fully closed to generate heat.

33 users love this project
Comments
    comment
    Enlarge image

    The Birkenstock Australia HQ Cool contemporary design, with a warm feel and an holistic approach to sustainability, results in a series of spaces that are a joy to be in and to work in. The multi-awardwinning design succinctly translates the brand’s core values into a spatial experience, intuitively illustrating Birkenstock’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality, to health and sustainability. Scope The run-down heritage building was brought back to its former glory, extended and...

    Project details
    Archilovers On Instagram
    Lovers 33 users