South Melbourne Design Studio

Type — Commercial

Location — Southbank

Status — Completed 2011


Folk Architects were commissioned by Smart Works and Crunch It, to refurbish their existing warehouse. With budgetary constraints and a short three month design and construction period, Folk relied on modest yet fundamental improvements and innovative material selections to compliment the old with the new.

Our response was to strip back recent renovations exposing the original building (1920s) creating visual permeability and lightness. A large reception was removed to create an informal lounge for clients and inhabitants, along with a recycled material installation in collaboration with Utopian Slumps artist Lauren Berkowitz that creates texture, warmth and plays with shadows throughout the space.

Circulation spaces from the entry through to the rear exit door are defined by recycled PET panels to provide a 18 meter long gallery wall, creating a platform for staff within both organisations to exhibit, review and comment on their work – promoting an exchange of ideas, communication and participation within the studio and to clients.

Photo: Peter Bennetts