Transforming co-working into an ecosystem that allows curiosity to grow.

The Commons appointed Siren to transform their new three-level co-working space located in South Melbourne into a vibrant hub for over 200 creative minds to call home.

The Commons pushes the boundaries of the traditional office space by providing an environment for entrepreneurs and small businesses to work together in a shared space. Communal settings including a ping pong arena, installed beer tap and arcade games encourage chance encounters and inspire a ‘work hard, play hard’ mindset within the community. Brainstorming walls, large communal tables and hot desk in the medium traffic open plan area allow for collaboration between the variety of businesses that occupy the space.

The creative brief set the challenge of designing an office environment for businesses and individuals to collaborate and expand their businesses. Siren Design worked closely with The Commons team to understand the types of residents they wanted to attract into space. This process uncovered the need for inclusion of a diverse range of work styles. Touchdown hot-desking zones, open plan dedicated workspaces, private offices of varying sizes, quiet rooms, as well as a range of formal and casual meeting spaces form a flexible work environment for all members.

Combining creativity and wellness, Siren was inspired to design a healthy environment for living as well as for working and explored the concept of biophilia, meaning the innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. This idea has been embedded in material selections and the incorporation of indoor planting and inviting terraces. Trees have been planted throughout the space and natural light has been maximised in working spaces to provide a connection with nature. A spin cycle studio, yoga studio and cosy library promote a healthy work-life balance and provide opportunities for group activities.

Where possible, the base building shell was utilised to avoid additional materials. In order to minimise wastage, a range of applications was found for the one material. Plywood has been used throughout the project, reducing unused offcuts. The uniform plywood cladding to the internal walls was selected for its durability which importantly has increased the life-span of the fitout. Where paint has been used, low VOC options were selected. Indoor planting including medium-size trees has been planted throughout the building to physically improve air quality within the space by reducing VOC, CO2 and CO levels.

Project: The Commons, Melbourne, Australia
Design Studio: Siren
Photo Credit: Siren