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When Red Bull need a creative and vibrant interior designer to transform an old linseed silo into their Sydney HQ, they appointed Matthew Sheargold at the time when he set up his studio Sheargold Design.
Instead of putting together an EOI (expression of interest) with examples of our work - all very coporate and predictable, Sheargold deceided to think outside the box. He realised that Red Bull is a brand about youth, vibrancy, high energy and about experiences, he presented the client with a series of cards and a gold-plated can of Red Bull - a play on the 'gold' in his name. The last card says 'Sometimes the best ideas come when you join together'.
One of Sheargold challenges was what to do with the two silos. The base building architects had already put in round windows, but at the ground floor of the silo, the concrete of the building was still built up at the sides, forming a funnel, throughwhich the linseed was fed. To make the ground floor useable, this concrete - which reached up to head height around the sides of the cylinder, had to be jackhammered out. And, because the silos are only so big, the building next door was also used for the office, meeting and break-out spaces, linked via a staircase and an upstairs deck.
The left silo on the ground floor was transformed into an exhibition space where Red Bull presents the work of artists, such as skateboard or street artists. The right silowas transformed into a double height reception with a walkway above. However, not wanting to destroy the sense of the void stretching up from the ground floor, the designers left a small section of each floor, so that it's possible to see almost to the roof from Reception. And, to make even more use of this space, a giant towering, black-lit wall of Red Bull cans forms a wall sculpture designed by C4 Design which stretches up from reception past several floors.
The upper floors of the silos on Level 1 and 2 feature meeting to 'theme' them as such, SHeargold incorporated design elements and props for three different Red Bull related experiences. The 'BOard' room features a snow board table, surfboard light and skateboard wheels on the wall like a sculptural artwork. The Airborn room has a board table made from the wing of an aeroplane and the Motor Sports room includes parts of race cars and motorcycles. An unthemed board room in the left had silo takes up the entire floor forming a round room with a matching round table - dubbed 'The Bull logo made with badges covered in photographs from the Red Bull photo collection.
The right hand silo top floor also has a meeting room dubbed the 'Infinity room' - the only one that allows the entire team to meet together in one space. Frosted glass on the floor provides a view through to the silo void - not good for thhose who suffer from vertigo, but allowing the view through the entire length of the silo.
On level 2, the right hand silo leads out to an outdoor deck areas in timber which connects to the building next door. Adjoining the outdoor deck is the main break-out space. featuring a bar - dubbed the 'Half Moon II' bar - the name of the first bar to sell Red Bull - an EcoSmart fireplace and a pool table painted white. The tables were constructed from discarded timber found on site.
Level 1 of the large building features open work areas - complete with 'trees' and boulevards, plus some closed offices. It also features the 'grass knoll' - a meeting area formed by a bulbous 'hill' covered in 'grass' - a comfortable to sit on - while soft 'boulders and swing chairs provide other options for informal seating. Unique pendant lights in the shape of a paper plane float above - these were sourced direct from the designer Malin Lundmark in Sweden. Beside the 'grassy knoll' is the library, with a facade of chipboard, made to look like its own little shopfront. Inside, the room is a functioning library, containing the complete collection of all Red Bull media coverage. The library also features another fireplace (faux), plus decorative elements like fake book wallpaper and a moose head wooden wall sculpture. Paintings around the walls feature a truly kitsch element - copies of art classics like the Mona Lisa and Sistine Chapel with Red Bull can included.