David Jones and Country Road Group Head Office

Gray Puksand has delivered the first stage of this exciting workspace project creating the new home for Australian fashion retail icons David Jones and Country Road Group - including brands such as Witchery, Trenery, Mimco, Politix and Country Road collocated at Botanicca Corporate Park. This major workplace project represents a significant investment by parent company Woolworths Holdings, and is the David Jones headquarters who have relocated from their Sydney office with the consolidation of Country Road Group operations set to relocate from within Melbourne in late 2018. The design team focused on the concept Home of Australian Icons, creating a sophisticated Australian palette inspired by the premium quality of David Jones and Country Road Group. This concept celebrates the unity of David Jones and Country Road Group, whilst also showcasing each brand’s individual identity.

The new Home of Australian Icons focuses on the end users and their countless products, simultaneously creating a fashion hub that is both welcoming and innovative. Through a process of aspirational and functional workshops, we engaged a cross section of business functions in order to obtain the physical and cultural desires of David Jones and Country Road Group. It was important to create an enticing work environment that was attractive to the employees and their families, many of whom were required to relocate to their new home and thus asserting David Jones and Country Road Group's status as an employer of choice.

The project follows the good business journey principals. Sustainability of locally designed and manufactured furniture alongside eco-friendly finishes with a focus on ethically sourced products that promote good end of life recyclability. This was encouraged and embraced through a number of finishes, including the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ certified Shaw carpet tiles. Choosing Shaw Contract as a supplier positively impacted the good business journey outcome with the 80% take back of existing carpet tiles. The workspace showcases the organisations’ value to their talented staff, with a fashion hub stacked over multiple floors. With the integration of two organisations, combining 6 brands and a merchant, poses as interesting challenges and with these brings unique opportunities. The workspace is intended as a destination for the organisation that functions as a responsive platform to cater for the dynamic nature of retail.

Once this major workplace project is complete, their new home will offer a flexible work environment that has the ability to grow with the brands. Through the provision of centrally located shared collaborative spaces, the design encourages movement between teams through visual connection, promoting partnership between the brands. At its core, the design reflects these iconic brands and speaks to the organisations’ diverse, authentic and luxury offering. Through carefully considered design, the project aspires to delight, innovate and respond to the changing face of retail for today and in the future.

The existing building required careful space planning to ensure that the employees have a level of natural daylight with physical and visual connection across the large 4000sqm floorplates. Despite the challenges, we created a workspace for the David Jones business through a variety of centrally shared spaces. A large, light–filled atrium exists at the centre of two collaboration decks and a culinary style kitchen breakout. Natural light is a key feature for all of the brands.

To emphasise the sense of light, we selected warm, vibrant grey carpet tiles to ‘lift’ the space. Functional built form exists at the centre of each workspace neighbourhood. These are treated as ‘pavilions,’ as a means to ensure that this built form did not physically and visually divide the floorplate. There are also collaboration spaces located at each end of the pavilions to maintain physical connection between the brands, and a variety of furniture settings exist at either end of the pavilion to encourage connection, thus allowing ad hoc collaboration. The built form is treated with full height glazing to ensure visual connection through to each workplace neighbourhood. As a design solution and a play on the concept of ‘pavilion’, the ceiling and floor surrounding the built form create two bold black planes, which visually ground the physical form, as well as being representative of the safety of ‘home’. A bold black and natural palette references the creative fashion house. This is softened with natural timbers, stones and pastel upholstery, celebrating the country's diverse landscapes and natural features. The design and material selections are reminiscent of the contemporary Australian landscape. The refined palette empowers the employees the freedom to introduce vibrancy through their product and people.

Location

Melbourne, Australia

Design Firm

Gray Puksand

Segment(s)

Workplace
  • Large Office
  • Awards/Certifications

    2018 Design Award Final Winner