Standing on a corner block in Cremorne Street, Richmond – one of the area’s few remaining industrial precincts – a brown brick commercial building in the typical style of the 1970s is the home of Melbourne creative and PR agencies, Bastion and Undertow Media.
After deciding to move from nearby Balmain Street last year after the need for expansion became apparent, Undertow Media and Bastion enlisted the creative nous of artist and interior designer, Matt Martino to design their new spaces.
Formerly a sock factory and later, a printing factory, the façade itself screams ‘industrial’ in its rawest sense.
Inside, however, tells a much different tale, one of transformation into a New York-style loft complete with high, exposed ceilings and sun-lit surrounds.
Carving the upper level into a series of free-flowing, common spaces with a central spine of board and meeting rooms, allowed the space to feel more like a creative loft and less like a corporate environment.
With a lean budget to work with but plenty of ideas, Matt Martino focused his energy on a single key design element in the form of a custom-designed, vibrantly coloured carpet that spans the entire office in hombres of green, orange, red and yellow.
The closed in street-facing walls were knocked out in favour of large, lofty windows, allowing light to flood the space to take the edge off the building’s commercial factory feel.
Finally, designer furniture was used to create a comfortable gathering space for clients, and an oversized reception desk which turns into a staff breakout zone further down the hall, adds just the right amount of office appeal in this factory-cum-creative haven.
Outside, Taj Alexander was commissioned to create a feature artwork to soften the ominous brown brick overload and create a pleasurable experience at ground level.
Undertow Media and Bastion’s new space is a fascinating insight into Cremorne’s rapidly changing surrounds and a peek into a refurbishment that plays to its strengths in this iconic Richmond precinct.