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Located in the heart of the ‘Silicon Yarra’ in Melbourne, The Commons Cremorne represents the area at its core – a place for creativity, innovation and community.

As the third project Siren has designed for this highly successful co-working business, The Commons Cremorne is culmination of years of experience in designing and managing co-working communities and it also provides great insight for larger corporates in creating dynamic, flexible working communities centred around sustainability and social responsibility, of particular relevance to the post-pandemic environment.

In testament to success of the design and the engaging community within, the Siren team liked the space so much they decided to move in! The Siren team believes in immersing themselves in their own designs in order to learn from it, and as creatives they also loved the idea of being fully imbedded in a dynamic, creative community.

The concept

The concept of The Commons was created in Melbourne by two school mates, Cliff Ho and Tom Ye, out of a desire to achieve happiness in the workplace and redefine the meaning of a day at the office. With thoughtful consideration of the way people work today, the founders had a vision to create spaces with a harmonious marriage of the flexibility of today’s work style and the needs of the modern individual.

The Commons model is a successful one, and the business is on a path of expansion. The Cremorne site spans over a four-level new built tenancy and a rooftop space that has impressive 360 degree views. The largest Commons location yet, Cremorne has the most spacious desks and offices to date, and also features a maker space, a rooftop garden overlooking the city and a wellness studio.

The design

Cremorne has transformed in the past few years from sleepy suburb of Melbourne to a magnet for digital and disruptive businesses – now widely regarded as Australia’s Silicon Valley.

The design celebrates Cremorne is at its core – the ‘Silicon Yarra’. A creative, innovative place and a place for big ideas. A place of discoveries and understated creativity that is naturally simple, yet impressive and warm.

The idea is to create a journey where members connect, meet and are looked after in a shared environment, whilst still having ownership of their own space, a space that feels like home.

The Commons business philosophy focuses on creating strong community-based living and working. Spaces for meeting and connecting with like-minded people. The environment is designed to enable strong interactions through multiple third spaces scattered purposefully across the building to encourage bump moments between members, as well as enable team collaborations and cross working. The third spaces throughout The Commons Cremorne vary to cater for the diverse styles of members requirements, however specifically for The Commons Cremorne the third spaces were purposely designed throughout ground level so that it becomes the hub of the building whilst also surrounding the interconnecting stairs in order to activate the middle spine of the building to connect members from different floors.

The environment is designed to allow easy transitions from focus works, to human interactions. The focus work areas are designed to be more quiet, bright and light to enhance productivity and team collaborations, whilst the human interaction spaces are designed to have a “buzz” and vibrancy.

The challenge

The challenge of the project was to connect two buildings together which were at a different floor level. The Commons Cremorne was also a budget conscious project, with a tight timeframe. The approach was about highlighting areas with strong features while using cost effective materials and simple detailing done well. The end result was an impressive environment throughout.

The other challenge was to design a space that links well to the other Commons sites, yet is still unique to the Cremorne context and suits its building. The design response places a strong focus on human-centered design and wellness. This includes the incorporation of biophilic design – ensuring all greenery are living plants to support this. Siren also took a reduction of waste mentality using minimal finishes in different ways. Sustainability and environmental consciousness are key values of The Commons, and as a result, the space provides easy options for members to make sustainable decisions in their everyday lives.

Project: The Commons Cremorne
Location: Australia
Size: 3,500 sqm
Sevice: Design Consultancy
Design Studio: Siren Design
Photo Credits: Spacecraft