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    Alexander & Co maintains residential feel inside self-designed Sydney office

    Australian architecture practice Alexander & Co has created its own office inside a Victorian-era property in Sydney.

    Situated a stone’s throw from Bondi Beach, Alexander House acts as a “design laboratory” where Alexander & Co’s team can meet, collaborate and find space to work independently.
    Alexander & Co’s self-designed office has a double-height kitchenThe homely office occupies a semi-detached property that dates back to the Victorian period. Though the practice decided to preserve the building’s original facade, its interior was completely remodelled to function as a modern workspace.
    Staff enter the office via a ground-level vestibule with rammed-earth walls before climbing a flight of stairs to reach the open-plan living and dining area on the first floor.
    A “cafe-style” area provides seating for staffOne half of the space is dressed with an angular olive-green sofa, a glossy coffee table and a puffy grape-coloured armchair.

    The other half of the room is occupied by a double-height kitchen. At its centre is a chunky breakfast island crafted from pink-hued concrete, around which the team can congregate for meals, client catch-ups or company events.
    Construction waste was used to make furnishings in the courtyardAdditional seating is provided in a “cafe-style” area at the edge of the room, which features a custom leather seating banquette, cane chairs and a couple of tables.
    Concertina glass doors at the rear of the kitchen open up onto a courtyard. This houses a pool and an ice bath alongside a collection of mottled stools and side tables that were custom-made out of waste generated from the building’s renovation.
    A cosy library can be found on the building’s mezzanine level”Beauty can be found in the irregularities and developing patinas that have resulted from incorporating handmade and natural materials throughout our new space,” explained the practice.
    “Blemishes, cracks and connections – they are all magic and inform our storytelling through scale and detail.”

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    Directly above the ground floor is a generous mezzanine level that accommodates a cosy library space where Alexander & Co can host more intimate meetings.
    The room’s bookshelves and kidney-shaped table are crafted from walnut wood, while chocolatey leather curtains are suspended in front of the doorway.
    Visiting team members from other offices can stay over in the bedroom suiteThe narrower end of the mezzanine was turned into a quiet work area for up to five people, finished with a thickset concrete ledge for laptops.
    The upper floor of the building was made into a bright loft-esque space. Here there’s an events room and a bedroom suite, where visiting team members from other offices can stay.
    Down in the basement is the practice’s materials libraryTraditional workstations can be found down in the basement along with Alexander & Co’s materials library.
    From this level of the building, you can also access the landscaped back garden, which will be used during the summer for alfresco gatherings.
    A concrete staircase runs through all four levels of the buildingAll four levels of the building are connected by a concrete staircase with brass balustrading and a dramatic seven-metre-long pendant light dangling through its central void.
    Alexander House is one of six projects shortlisted in the small workspace interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Others in the running include F.Forest Office by Atelier Boter, which sits within a glass-fronted building in a Tawainese fishing village, and Samsen Atelier by Note Design Studio, which also serves as a wine bar.
    The photography is by Anson Smart.

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    Victorian warehouse in London transformed into Greencoat Place office

    British architecture practice Squire and Partners and office design firm Modus Workspace have retained the ornate cast-iron columns and glazed tiles of a 19th-century warehouse in London while turning it into a contemporary workspace.

    Located in London’s Victoria, the Greencoat Place building was originally used as a warehouse, storeroom and food hall for the Army & Navy Stores – a military cooperative turned department store that was acquired by House of Fraser in 1973.
    Greencoat Place is a warehouse-turned-office in LondonNow, the building belongs to serviced office provider Fora and houses a mix of workspaces and amenities including a fitness studio, a colourful terrazzo bar and a vertical farm on the lower-ground level, where fresh produce is grown for workers to take home or eat for lunch.
    Two historic halls sit at the heart of the building – one serving as a flexible communal space for events or casual meetings, while the other is a workspace flooded with natural light from a skylight above.
    The building’s original brickwork was exposed in several placesReferences to the building’s past can be found throughout its interiors. This includes carefully preserved mouldings and glazed tiles, some featuring marine details in a nod to Army & Navy Stores’ history as a military cooperative, which supplied officers and their families with price-controlled goods.

    The building’s cast-iron columns and original steel doors were restored along with the vaulted ceilings on the lower ground level. In places where the original brickwork was exposed, the design team deliberately left layers of paint behind to visualise the renovation process.
    Its decorative glazed tiles were also retainedModus Workspace chose a soft, calm interior palette to contrast with the building’s industrial shell. Lime-washed oak was paired with richly textured fabrics and arch-shaped details, which echo the arches in the original halls.
    Colourful mosaic tiling unearthed in neighbouring residential buildings was reinterpreted in the flooring of the office’s communal spaces, introducing colour and pattern.

    Lighting Design International overhauls illumination of Harrods dining hall

    Open lounge spaces provide a calm environment to relax and collaborate while a series of video call booths are equipped with integrated lighting designed to show people in their best light.
    Video call facilities are also available in every meeting room to cater to hybrid working patterns, while secure cycle storage, changing facilities and showers promote an active commute or lunch break.
    Well-lit booths provide private spaces for video callsIn line with biophilic design principles, the interior combines plenty of planting, daylight and natural materials in a bid to enhance occupants’ wellbeing.
    To make the Victorian building more energy efficient and minimise its operational emissions, the architecture firm installed new glazing, sensor-controlled lighting and a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, which only circulates the minimum amount of refrigerants needed during a single heating or cooling period.
    The building’s concrete shell is softened with biophilic design elementsGreencoat Place has been shortlisted in the large workspace interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Two former industrial buildings are also in the running for the title – Dyson’s global HQ housed in a Singapore power station and a shared workspace, which is set in the generator building that once supplied Bristol’s tram system.
    The photography is by Jack Hobhouse.

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    Fourteen Stones Design revamps Tokyo warehouse into “coffee gastronomy” cafe

    Tokyo-based Fourteen Stones Design has designed the Koffee Mameya Kakeru cafe for barista Eiichi Kunitomo in a former water transportation hub in Kiyosumi Shirakawa.

    Set in the Kiyosumi Shirakawa area of Tokyo, the coffee shop occupies a warehouse which Fourteen Stones Design renovated and extended “to preserve the appearance of the old warehouse as much as possible”.
    Koffee Mameya Kakeru is in an old warehouseThe studio removed the shutters from the front of the warehouse, adding a glass facade. The rest of the building, including the interiors, remains as it was – with minimal repairs made to the walls.
    It aimed “to make everyday coffee an extraordinary experience” with a full “course of coffee” served by baristas and the renovation has been designed to facilitate this.
    The white oak structure frames the coffee barA staggered rectangular frame of white oak at the entrance of the cafe, which echoes the coffee package design, dominates the interior space and provides a central visual motif for the scheme.

    This frame divides the entrance space from the main cafe where a U-shaped bar surrounding the barista workstations was placed.

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    The barista’s workbenches, which were made from black granite, were deliberately placed at the centre of the space to create “a stage set-up, which enables baristas to fully demonstrate their skills”.
    Besides the new seating area, restrooms, a kitchen, a laboratory and office space have all been renovated.
    Baristas work at black granite counters
    The service and bar countertops were made from “Jura Yellow” limestone. Featuring fossils from the Jura period, it was chosen for its texture and also for allusions to the passage of time – not only echoed in the coffee growing, roasting and brewing processes but also the journey of the brand from its inception 10 years ago.
    Fourteen Stones Design’s Yosuke Hayashi designed the custom furniture for the cafe in the same white oak as the frame structure. It was manufactured by Japanese company E&Y for the project.
    The space aims to create a “gastronomic experience” for coffee drinkersThe cafe’s owner Kunitomo believes baristas “act as a bridge between the customer and the roastery” and should be given “a social status comparable to that of a sommelier”.
    Baristas at Koffee Mameya Kakeru will serve single cups of coffee through to full courses of coffee, “elevated by the newly designed space to the realm of gastronomy”, according to the practice.
    Fourteen Stones Design has been shortlisted in the restaurant and bar interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards. Other projects in the running include a rattan restaurant in Bangkok by Enter Projects Asia Co. and YODEZEEN’s Japanese restaurant in Kyiv’s city centre.
    The photography is by Ooki Jingu.

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    The Quoin hotel by Method Co opens in historic Delaware bank

    US hospitality firm Method Co has turned a Gilded Age-era bank building into a boutique hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, which boasts the city’s first rooftop bar.

    The Quoin offers 24 guest rooms within a four-storey Victorian Romanesque brownstone that was constructed as the Security Trust and Safe Deposit Company Building.
    The lobby at The Quoin features a mixture of contemporary and Shaker-influenced furnitureCompleted in 1885 by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, the downtown building features original arched windows and mouldings that were preserved during the renovation, which Method Co’s in-house team undertook in collaboration with Stokes Architecture.
    “Pronounced ‘coin’, the name is derived from the Old French word meaning ‘corner’ or ‘angle’, honouring the legacy of the original building, while also referencing the legacy of the original banking house — connecting the building’s history, location, and architecture through a single thread,” said Method Co.
    The hotel’s main restaurant and bar is located just off the lobbyThe building’s time period influenced the colour palette for the hotel’s interiors, based on paints dating back to 1820.

    Natural motifs were also introduced through hand-drawn illustrations, and various patterned wallpapers found throughout the communal areas and the bedrooms.
    Patterned wallpapers with natural motifs are used throughout the interiorsIn the lobby, an eclectic mix of contemporary and Shaker-influenced furniture forms a cosy lounge area around a black fireplace.
    Three food and beverage spaces have been given distinct identities.
    Bedrooms on the top level have extra character thanks to the original arched cove windowsJust off the lobby, The Quoin Restaurant and Bar serves wood-fired fare based on the cuisines of southern France and northern Italy and features wood panelling and banquette seating that create an intimate setting.
    A craft cocktail lounge, named Simmer Down, has an original brick ceiling and a mural painted by Reverend Michael Alan.

    Morris Adjmi creates homey atmosphere within Roost East Market hotel in Philadelphia

    The bar on the rooftop, billed by Method Co as the city’s first, is designed as a happy hour spot with cushioned rattan seating and offers light bites on the menu.
    Bedrooms are simply decorated, with wallpaper used to create feature walls behind the headboards, as well as wooden furniture and herringbone parquet flooring.
    The rooftop bar is billed as Wilmington’s firstThose on the top level have extra character thanks to the cove-arched windows and walls that curve to follow the roofline.
    Method Co’s other hotel properties include the Roost East Market in Philadelphia and the Whyle in Washington DC, which was longlisted for the 2021 Dezeen Awards. Both were designed with Morris Adjmi Architects.
    The building was constructed in 1885 as Security Trust and Safe Deposit Company BuildingThis is the company’s first venture in Wilmington, the largest city in the small coastal state of Delaware, which is known for its beach houses.
    Examples of these include an oceanfront residence by Robert Gurney and a single-family home built using wood reclaimed from a nearby agricultural structure by DIGSAU
    The photography is by Matthew Williams.

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    Reflecting pool centres XC273 fashion boutique in former Shanghai towel factory

    Chinese studio Dongqi Design has turned a disused factory in Shanghai into a multi-brand fashion and lifestyle store, adding glossy marble and metal surfaces to offset its exposed concrete shell.

    Set across three floors, the XC273 retail space houses designer showrooms and pop-ups alongside a small cafe, as well as providing spaces for temporary exhibitions and events.
    Dongqi Design has turned a former factory into a fashion boutiqueFormerly a state-owned towel factory, the building had already been changed several times before the latest round of renovations.
    Dongqi Design strived to preserve and emphasise these different layers of history, which are contrasted against shiny new finishes to create a kind of “nostalgic futurism”.
    “All the differences of the space were kept as part of the building’s history so that people walking in could feel that the boundaries between the past and the present are blurred, as if they had walked into a timeless space,” the studio explained.

    The XC273 store houses a cafe alongside designer showrooms and pop-upsThe building is organised around three voids, which now form the basis of the store’s circulation routes.
    The largest of these voids consists of a double-height space at the core of the building, where Dongqi Design added a small reflecting pool surrounded by a collonade.
    Glossy surfaces are contrasted against the building’s raw concrete shellThe collonade’s raw concrete columns are left exposed where they face the pond, while their other three sides are wrapped with either marble, wood or metal.
    This approach is replicated across the store’s display fixtures to create a sense of spatial continuity. It can also be seen on the first floor, where new paving was added to enhance the existing geometric flooring.

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    A sound tunnel that provides visitors with an experimental music experience was placed near the cafe on the ground floor.
    The second floor is accessed via a metal staircase, which is suspended above the reflecting pool and winds its way up through a small hole in the ceiling.
    A reflecting pool was installed at the core of the building”The key element connecting all the spaces is the stairs,” the studio explained.
    “The stairs are designed in their purest metallic form, further enhanced by the details of the balustrade where the fence becomes a simple element sliding into the structural beam at the bottom while having a profile on the top to allow visitors to grab the handrail comfortably.”
    Concrete paving was added to complement the geometric flooring on the first floorOn the second floor, Dongqi Design selected a bright white finish to emphasise the old wooden structure of the building’s pitched roof. A series of square windows let light into the space and offer views out across the city and toward the sky.
    To balance out the otherwise all-white interior, the VIP room is finished in a darker palette. During spring and summer, these darker shades also contrast with the colour of the trees outside.
    Dongqi Design gave the second floor a bright white finishXC273 has been shortlisted in the large retail interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Other projects in the running include a second-hand bookshop in Shanghai that uses supermarket-style crates to display its wares and a reusable sales showroom with fabric walls.
    The photography is by Raitt Liu.

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    Muhhe Studio inserts “wooden box” into old factory to create light-filled photographer's studio

    A white-painted steel and timber volume that contains an office, dressing room, reception and studio space sits at the centre of this photographer’s studio in an old factory building.

    Located in a former factory building that looks out onto a busy T-junction near a park in Nanjing, China, HNS Studio was designed by architects Muhhe Studio for local photographer Huai Nianshu.
    The studio began by removing all partitions and ceilings in the space to reveal a pitched timber roof structure.
    HNS Studio is a photography studio that was renovated by Muhhe Studio”In the early summer before the reconstruction, we went to the site, after the old partition was removed, the high-rise space of the old plant was warm and transparent in the sunlight of the afternoon,” recalled Muhhe Studio.
    “The photographer himself is extremely sensitive to light. His only expectation for the new space of the studio is a ‘transparent’ space.”

    In order to capture the light, the studio used BIM software to simulate the movement of daylight across the space throughout the course of the day. In response to this study, the studio created several different-sized openings along the building’s west gable end and roof to ensure that the space would be evenly lit at all times.
    It sits within a former factoryIn addition, the architects inserted three large windows that function like a storefront for the studio and increase its connection to the street outside.
    A two-storey structure that resembles two stacked boxes and contains all of the studio’s amenties was built in the centre of the space. At ground floor level, an office, dressing room and toilet are clad in marine-grade plywood.

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    A set of stairs at the back of the plywood volume leads up to a floor wrapped in white-painted steel. This open top floor overhangs the space below and will be used as a large photostudio space with a reception and open-plan office.
    The architects left the original factory space with its brick and plaster walls largely untouched to function as a “continuous and rhythmic open space”.
    The interior was painted white and decorated with wooden furnitureThe original street-facing entrance on the south side was moved to the back so that before entering the office, you now have to pass through a semi-enclosed courtyard.
    “We pay attention not only to the indoor space, but also to the outdoor space, and even the relationship of the entire park, as well as the relationship between the history and the present of this space,” the architects told Dezeen.
    “We designed the space very delicately to allow users and visitors to enjoy it. [To be] people-oriented is our ultimate goal.”
    Windows were inserted to function as storefront-style glazingThis project has been shortlisted in the small workspace interiors category of Dezeen Awards 2022.
    Other projects in the category include a part-workspace and part-community hub in a sleepy fishing village in Taiwan, and a wine-bar workspace for a consultancy company in Sweden.
    Photography is by Xiaowen Jin unless stated otherwise.

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    Crawshaw Architects transforms cow shed into Stanbridge Mill Library

    London studio Crawshaw Architects has transformed a former cow shed in Dorset into a library and office, organised around a wooden, barrel-vaulted arcade that references the client’s collection of books on classical Palladian architecture.

    The Stanbridge Mill Library, which has been shortlisted in the civic and cultural interiors category of Dezeen Awards 2022, occupies one of several outbuildings of a Georgian farmhouse on a grade II-listed farm.
    Crawshaw Architects has overhauled a former cow shed in DorsetThe narrow, gabled brick shed was originally built to house Standbridge Mill Farm’s cows but had stood neglected for over forty years, used as storage for gardening equipment and farm machinery.
    Looking to give the building a new purpose while maintaining its existing character, Crawshaw Architects made only small structural interventions, replacing two of its original roof trusses with portal frames that open up the interior.
    The studio has transformed it into a library and office”While a decisive transformation of the interior was called for, we felt that the original use of the building needed to be part of the story,” explained the studio.

    Stanbridge Mill Library’s focal point is a central “nave”, which is filled with seating areas covered by a wooden barrel vault and slotted between two narrow aisles lined by bookshelves. This plan references classical architectural forms, which are the focus of many of the client’s books.
    The Stanbridge Mill Library is organised around a barrel-vaulted arcadePale, solid oak has been used for the floor, shelving, storage and the central vault, half of which is covered with planks and the other half left open to allow in light from new skylights.
    “The high nave and pair of aisles are in the form of a classical library, but are set out in the register of the original building using the materials and construction techniques of traditional farm carpentry and metalwork,” explained Crawshaw Architects.
    The office occupies the northern end of the building”The vault, columns, shelves, tables and seating are made of the same solid oak planks and sections, deliberately selected to show knots and natural blemishes,” the studio continued.
    Desks are organised to take advantage of light from the windows and are illuminated at night by large pendants suspended from the vault.

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    The office space occupies the northern end of the building underneath an original roof truss, which is separated from the library by an arched glass door and windows that frame views through the nave and aisles.
    To the south of Stanbridge Mill Library, a dog-leg in the plan is occupied by a small kitchen, positioned opposite a bathroom and a small lobby area.
    Pale solid oak has been used throughoutStanbridge Mill Library features in the civic and cultural interior category of Dezeen Awards 2022 alongside the renovation of the Groote Museum in Amsterdam by Merk X.
    Another project on the shortlist is the interior of F51 Skate Park in Folkestone by Hollaway Studio, which won the public vote for the same category.
    The photography is by Ingrid Rasmussen.
    Project credits:
    Architect: Crawshaw ArchitectsDesign team: Pandora Dourmisi, Aidan CrawshawStructural engineer: Hardman Structural EngineersContractor: CanDo Constructions ltd

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    Atelier38 reworks furniture store into home for Czech Radio

    Architecture studio Atelier38 has converted a former furniture store in Olomouc, Czech Republic, into a broadcast centre arranged around a light-filled atrium. 

    Atelier38 refurbished the building, which was built in 1911, to give it the necessary technical and acoustic fixtures needed for a modern radio broadcaster.
    The original building dates from the early 20th centuryThe Czech Radio broadcast centre occupies a narrow plot in the middle of Olomouc and is characterised by its exposed reinforced concrete frame and long skylight window than can both be seen in the cavernous central atrium that spans four storeys.
    Throughout the 20th century, the building remained a furniture store, but the skylight was closed off with mineral wool to keep the building insulated.
    The atrium’s pitched skylight floods the interior with natural lightThe studio reopened this central atrium and made it the heart of the building. It added additions that highlighted the existing concrete structure to avoid detracting from the original fabric of the building.

    “We tried hard to preserve the visible supporting structure and not to destroy the integrity and sculptural quality of the central space,” said Atelier38.
    Original balustrades line the walkways and that span the void in the atriumA monochromatic scheme was chosen for both the circulatory and private areas to unite the interior – regardless of function and era – and highlight the building’s unique original structural details.
    Glass partition walls allow the ample natural light from the atrium to reach into the side rooms, which contain meeting and conference spaces, studios, offices and editing rooms as well as archives and storage facilities.
    Original details sit beside modern conveniences”The shape and proportions of the broadcast studios, control room, and self-service studios arose from the possibility of building into the existing skeleton structure,” the studio explained.
    “[The installed elements] form an artistic technological dialogue with the original supporting structure without suppressing it.”
    Recording studios are equipped with audiovisual and acoustic technologyThe studio also upgraded the thermal, sanitary and electrical services needed to meet contemporary standards and to ensure the smooth running of broadcasts.
    Other adaptive reuse projects published on Dezeen include a retreat for professionals inside an abandoned girls’ school by Artchimboldi and Emma Martí, and a former prison in Berlin converted into a hotel by Grüntuch Ernst Architects.
    The photography is by BoysPlayNice.

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