Leading by example

as featured in
Care for our planet's resources is seen throughout the reinvented offices of fit-out specialist ISIS by Kann Finch Group
Interior with long wooden divider and exposed red interior design, leisure centre, brown
Interior with long wooden divider and exposed red pipes.

Company offices can read as a statement of intent reflecting a firm's view on the world. When its business is commercial fit-outs, the need for a thoughtful design vocabulary is even stronger.

Interiors company Kann Finch has designed all the state office spaces for fit-out specialist ISIS. As the projects have evolved, the emphasis has been on evoking the theme, One ISIS transformation at work, says project designer Deborah Wallbridge.

"This design approach combines a broad use of materials in their most natural form with an ongoing dedication to recycling material wherever possible. It also entailed a shift from compartmentalised offices to an open-plan office culture."

Highlighting these preoccupations gives ISIS offices an air of honesty and openness, as well as reflecting the energy-saving, budget-friendly approach the company brings to its all its projects.

"In addition to the green elements, each state office has its own stand-out feature that showcases ISIS quality craftsmanship," says Wallbridge.

"In the Perth office, this is a large fractured glass structure, home to the main meeting room and a bidding room alongside the latter used for sensitive tender negotiations. An operable wall that divides the spaces can be pulled back, creating one large meeting area. This central element is also an object lesson in recycling resources."


Hallway with triange cutout design on walls. architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, wood, brown, gray
Hallway with triange cutout design on walls.

"The glass and framing for this eye-catching piece comprises all repurposed materials rescued from a previous fitout which occupied the tenancy before ISIS arrived," says Wallbridge.

While this is a strong green element, nearly every wall and surface throughout the ISIS offices likewise reflects the thought and care that goes into the stewardship of dwindling world resources. Carpets were taken out and the original concrete floors exposed and polished, and the timber decks are in recycled wood, as are the facades on the lift wall at the entrance to the offices.

Ceilings were also exposed saving on materials and contributing to the sense of honesty that ISIS projects as part of its company personality.

Everything has a simple finish that lets the natural material shine through. If the point needed to be made more strongly, a living wall of greenery forms a backdrop to the reception area.

"These attributes are common to all ISIS state offices, but we wanted to bring in a little of the character of the local environment to each of them as well," says Wallbridge. "Perth is very much an indoor-outdoor environment and to reflect this, outdoor spaces are part of the office make-up."

If the decor reflects an honesty and openness, then so, too, does the layout of the Perth office. A central core leads straight ahead from the lifts, encompassing the reception and fractured glass-clad volume. This leads straight through to the communal breakout area and outdoor spaces at the other end of the office. The open-plan, high-ceilinged nature of the volume makes it feel spacious and welcoming for all. ISIS wanted any visiting clients, sub-contractors or vendors to feel instantly at home here, and part of the team.

ISIS foyer with wooden reception area and green architecture, ceiling, interior design, lobby, brown
ISIS foyer with wooden reception area and green wall.

To left and right of the core, workstations fan out across the floors. Utility benches and hot desks provide spaces for project managers and project co-ordinators to confer. Informal options are set up around the perimeter used for meetings with site managers, who are out of the office most of the time, and for use by visitors or clients.

Apart from the glass structure and three senior manager pods, everything is open to view in the egalitarian fit-out. And even these pods can be appropriated for use by other staff needing privacy for a phone call or impromptu meeting.

The smallest element of the ISIS offices adheres to the effective use of resources. Graphics and wayfinding elements are etched onto wall and door surfaces another saving of materials and a strong visual idea at the same time.

"Wherever you are in the office working at the desks or bench tables, playing a game of pool, or enjoying a coffee at the perimeter seating, the feel is relaxed and natural," Wallbridge says.

Jun 30, 2012
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