Kane Constructions’ new office fit-out celebrates materiality and construction detailing, demonstrating Kane’s expertise and experience as a leader in the construction industry.
The new workplace is located on the top floor of one of Kane’s own building constructions in Richmond, Melbourne, with an abundance of natural light and 360-degree views.
Moving away from a siloed and disconnected working space, the new fit-out provides the 100-plus head-office staff with a ‘launch and land’ flexible space to come together in project teams. Each department, such as the fit-out team Arete, is afforded its own area to have a client-facing presence.
Kane was committed to involving their teams in the process. ARM facilitated a four-week stakeholder engagement phase to arrive at a robust, aspirational and operational brief. This process included workplace surveys and workshops with each department, such as ‘Ways of Working’ workshops that explored Kane’s capacity for agile ways of working – across teams both in the office and on the construction site.
“Via stakeholder engagement, our design and approach for this workplace was enriched with valuable insights from employees across various levels of the company, ensuring that the workplace could authentically reflect both the needs of its end-users, and its overall company vision.” – ARM Director Jesse Judd.
The floor was designed as an urban landscape. Post-constructivist architectural pavilions anchor the open-plan layout, bold directional lighting references the Richmond surrounds and tram tracks, and meeting rooms are set back from the façade, sharing the light and views with all tenants.
ARM partnered with lighting specialists, Glowing Structures, to create light and shade that reflects natural levels and does not distract from the working environment, programmed to change intensity and colour temperature throughout the day. At night, the ceiling LEDs extend into an illusion of vast space.
The services – a vital part of the building’s DNA – were intentionally left exposed in both the ceiling and the wrapped pipework running vertically down columns.
The design and engineering of each pavilion presented a challenge to be conquered and an opportunity to showcase Kane’s construction capabilities. Together, the pavilions appear as a series of miniature follies, providing a range of working experiences, canvases for graphic embellishments, and material explorations.
“The space has been designed to illustrate the diversity of what we offer and produce for our clients every day. As we move away from the traditional working model, our new workplace truly allows for a higher degree of flexibility and connectivity across all our teams.” – Kane Managing Director Tristan Forster.
Flanking the pavilions are what are colloquially referred to as ‘site sheds’ – offices and small meeting rooms set against the core and clad in matte black Zincalume to reflect the familiar feeling of a construction site.
Acoustic control was paramount to creating separate zones for each department and pavilion. A collaboration between consultants resulted in the design of curved acoustic panels, each custom printed to showcase Kane’s past project successes. The storytelling tableau, or patchwork blend of images, create an enhanced sense of volume and perspective in each office and meeting space.
The board room is the heart of the tenancy. An abundance of natural timbers and recessed light fitting ‘skylight’ create a seemingly other-worldly space. A custom-perforated crown-cut blackbutt timber skin wraps around three walls of the space, while the fourth is glazed with a structural GLT beam. A 6-metre-long Tasmanian Oak table is over-printed with a pixelated timber grain, supported on a series of monolithic custom black pedestals. Critical services and concealed in clusters of circular indents, recessed into the ceiling volume.
The reception area welcomes in a non-traditional way; instead of furniture, you are presented with a constructivist, sculptural space. Marking the centre point of the office, this is as much an internal meeting point as a static reception. Bold neon signage, alike that seen on Kane’s current worksites, is suspended from a miniature truss, and the lift is clad in black Digi Glass with graphics and lighting to create an infinity mirror effect.