Design Studio by Studio 103

Sitting proudly on one of Melbourne’s busiest streets, interior design firm Studio 103 have converted a tired warehouse into a contemporary, collaborative hub. Having undergone a sleek makeover, the revitalized factory is now a buzzing workplace, capturing the attention of the local area & design industry.

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The Hoddle Street gem at number 310 was built as a Melbourne base for British haberdashery manufacturing company Faire Brothers & Co who produced shoe “slipper findings” and belts, braces and suspenders in the 1940s. The building was also home to Sokara Fabrics, and industrial sewing machine repairers and sellers Kameo Textiles. The previous owner fondly recalls the warehouse as having plenty of room to store threads and machinery.

Located in Abbotsford, the warehouse is one of many in the recently popular creative hot-spot, where previously industrial buildings have been repurposed for similar use. Conveniently, Studio 103’s building partners McCormack Property Services reside in the building next door.

“We saw this as a great opportunity to establish a streamlined working relationship between Studio 103 and our partners McCormack,” says Tom Yang, Senior Interior Designer at Studio 103. “We set out to create a unique, functional space which retains its original industrial charm, utilising the existing architectural features as a foundation – but our end goal was to promote integration between Studio 103 and McCormack Property Services.”

To foster the notion of collaboration between both companies, the warehouse spaces have been designed as a group of zones across the floor plate to enable staff to interact, focus and breakout. Gestures to the original building have been retained or restored and the result is an excellent showcase of both the design calibre and fit out expertise of the two companies.

Upon entering the building from the gridlocked street, there comes an instant feeling of awe as you step into the design studio. Exposed timber trusses give dimension to the expansive ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows bathe warm natural light into the library space. Striking industrial-inspired shelving provides a foreground against the beautiful bones of the building – original red brick wall, large black-framed windows and polished concrete flooring.

The building is zoned into a variety of workspaces, broken up by a glazed boardroom, open kitchen & breakout space, and plenty of lush greenery. These spaces are designed to encourage interaction, and their varying uses ensure there is no lack of space to work in teams, focus or take some time out. Adding to the wellness factor, a gym was also included in the design, which Yang says was a must-have, and is certainly popular with the staff.

“Providing wellbeing facilities means we’re thinking of our staff and their health and work/life balance. Including a gym in our new office was an imperative – it’s a convenient way to add exercise into your day and promote productivity.”

This new design studio is a cleverly thought out space, encompassing many traits of a modern & agile workplace. A measure of creativity & functionality has sought to deliver an office in which its staff are happy to learn, work & socialise – all key drivers for modern workplaces.

“The build was a mutual effort between Studio 103 and McCormack Property Services to establish a foothold at the pinnacle of design and construction,” says Yang. “Together, we have repurposed a tired warehouse and transformed it into a sleek, sophisticated workspace for the purpose of collaboration and business growth.”

Photography by Jack Lovel

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- by Matt Watts