Urban grit meets world leading sustainability.

Construction company, SHAPE’s new Melbourne office represents world leadership in sustainability, as the third office to receive the highest certifiable rating (6 Star) from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

This project had high aspirations and it punched above its weight. Sustainability, wellbeing, diversity, gender identity and reconciliation were at the forefront of the brief, and we delivered.

The central location of Queen & Collins set the tone for the project, and the theme of connectivity formed the core design decisions. The design honoured SHAPE’s new home by taking influence from the historic gothic-style building, Queen & Collins, recently refurbished by GPT Group which pioneered the integration of Indigenous design and a colour palette in a commercial building.

Having partnered on many office fitouts before, Siren Design and SHAPE consulted with their team during the entire process, including Indigenous voices, to ensure the new space was inclusive of their workforce and celebrated their people.

Reflecting upon the exterior’s gothic architecture nestled amongst commercial buildings, Siren Design Group worked closely with SHAPE to create an office emulating the design concept of ‘urban grit’ through the selection of materials, textures, and natural hues. At the heart of the project was the idea of creating a place for ‘the boots and suits’ – where team members arriving from the construction site could feel just as comfortable as those in suits.

We selected materials with a subtle grittiness – an ode to SHAPE’s construction process. The humble exposure of raw materials and contrasting textures create a foundation for the brand and culture to shine. Backed by natural tones in the timber flooring, stone pavers and deep warm tones, the atmosphere created is welcoming and yet visibly carefully articulated. Palette selections celebrate First Nation’s culture and deep connection to nature.

Integrating Indigenous design was integral as SHAPE’s commitment to reconciliation. In design, the team used Colours of Aboriginal Australia paper to guide the colour selection. Green was selected to draw upon the universal association with nature, renewal and regrowth, while blue depicts water. Black and grey represent recently burnt bush.

The team consulted Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Land Council to name the meeting rooms after ‘shapes’.  Two Indigenous artists were selected to create a series of artworks for the new boardroom and in the open, collaborative hub. The office was opened with a smoking ceremony by Wurundjeri Man, Daniel Ross.