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BDO

Location:
Perth
Type:
Office
Year:
2003
Interior Designer:
Marshall Kusinski Design

There is an immediate sense that BDO has more to offer their clients than just "number crunching".

INTERESTINGLY, THE PROCESS OF RELOCATING BDO to a new tenancy was initiated by Kathy Kusinski, a director of Marshall Kusinsk! Design Consultants, Focusing on interior design as a powerful professional service, Kusinski advised that a recently announced merger was an ideal time to redefine a company's position in the marketplace and that relocation to new offices provided the opportunity to announce this. The partners agreed, and the process began with a detailed building analysis to select an appropriate tenancy.

DURING THE ANALYSIS STAGE, MARSHALL Kusinski were able to draw on their expertise and resources and present a retrospective of corporate interior design from the last decade. Focused upon first and second tier accountancy firms, projects from all over Australia were reviewed in a session discussing how corporate interior design has evolved during this period. The result was a comprehensive brief -the designers and the client united in the philosophies and approach that would guide the design,

LEVEL 8,256 Street GEORGE'S TERRACE was chosen for its capacity to accommodate all staff on one level, an arrangement that would revitalize the group, and this top-floor tenancy also had the appeal of an atrium, which allowed natural light to penetrate the majority of the 1,250 m2 area.

IN DEALING WITH THE SPACE, THE FIRST issue was a problematic structural aspect. The entrance from the atrium was a given, and a column located in front of the double entry doors limited many planning options. Eventually it was proposed that the column act as a screen that could form part of the reception. The column literally became part of the reception counter and this solution became a pivotal point of the design. It gave rise to a circular counter that would guide traffic, oblivious to the presence of the column, and this circularity set up interesting patterns of both movement and motif.

FROM THIS POINT, THE DESIGNERS PURSUED the juxtaposition of the reception and the corporate cafe beyond. The ideas of appearing "open", "transparent" and "accountable" formed important foundations of the design brief, and to this end the reception and cafe areas are visible from the lift, and surprise the visitor by revealing two very different personalities. The strong, rich colours and materials featured in the reception contrast with the playful lime green and illuminated effect of the cafe -views of which, according to designer Talia Teoh punctuate the reception" via slithers cut out of the common wall.

THE PALETTE OF INTERIOR COLOURS and materials is well refined. Traditional rich brown appears in the carpet used throughout reception and in the American walnut to the reception counter and the veneered wall beyond. Perimeter walls and the branding of the reception counter in crisp white keeps the area light - a counterbalance to the brown - while red carpet, strategically placed, defines meeting areas.

THE FOUR MEETING AREAS ADJOINING the reception also feature subtle branding through the use of graphic film. The repeated "C" shaped motif converses with the circular reception counter and the relief work on a cafe wall - humanizing the areas with this organic gesture. The shapes, almost a secret language, interlock and change position, introducing movement to the space. The effect encourages a creative energy [which one might not expect of an accountancy firm unless one appreciates "the romance of double entry bookkeeping"] and subtly helps BOO convince clients of the company's creative side.

THE CAFE IS THE CHOICE FOR MORE informal interactions among peers and between staff and clients. A staff competition produced the cafe's name, "Cafe Quaderno" [a reference to bookkeeping journals] and also generated a few additional corporate visions that feature on the cafe's walls. A little of the reception aesthetic ensures a sense of order here. Timber fins, marching through and screening the waiting area, travel into the cafe and track across the ceiling in a positive expression of the negative slithers cut from the wall, Here the rich coloured timber contrasts with the cooler lime green in a quiet, simple synergy.

ACCESS TO THE CAFE AND THE OPEN PLAN office area is via a curvaceous, intimate corridor from reception. The pattern of movement is pleasant and the environment calming - creating a connection between the physical and the emotional effect. For BDO the open plan supports a cultural shift and new methods of working incorporating the ideal of enhanced interaction. The use of radial workstations encourages this, creating a functional landscape that is also designed to allow every employee access to natural light.

CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF Marshall Kusinski director Melanie Marshall, the fit-out avoids the stereotypical conservatism of the financial sector and presents a refreshing result, which earned Marshall Kusinski an award of merit from the West Australian Design Institute of Australia.

BODO PERTH MAINTAINS A FOCUS ON PROVIDING solutions for growing West Australian businesses. It offers a "Growth Service" to clients to help them refocus and re-energise. True to this, their own environment celebrates potential and opportunity.

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