SMART ENERGY GROUP EXECUTIVE SUITE
Byron Bay, NSW
Design | Documentation | Procurement | Project & Construction Management
The team at Smart Energy has been growing and expanding rapidly. When an opportunity to take over the adjacent tenancy came up, they jumped at the opportunity to create a special new workplace for their executive team, and once again whitewood was brought on board to help realise their vision.
The concept for the new space was centred on providing a desirable and exclusive area, rewarding the hard work of the team’s top performers. Away from the main call centre, the new space brings in equal measures of privacy, luxury and lots of playfulness.
Core to the workplace of Smart Energy is fun. The company is renowned for its strong comradery and the new Executive Suite needed to reflect this inherent quality. With one of the owners of Smart Energy being English, the concept of injecting the fit-out with qualities of a traditional English pub soon emerged.
More than just an office, the Smart Energy Executive Suite also includes a whiskey-bar-cum-barbershop. The idea for the office to house a barber’s chair came about because one of the team members used to be a barber and would often be giving colleagues haircuts, and it also presented a nice opportunity to design a space that is a true reflection of the Smart Energy culture. With such a unique team culture, we looked for ways to bring in touches of the unexpected and push beyond the traditional office or workplace models.
The tenancy that was taken over was just a cavernous, typical commercial floor plan. Through spatial planning and massing, whitewood broke down the space into various zones. A series of five individual phone booths were created, a nod to 1920s English pubs. Each of the phone booths required its own ducting and careful consideration for sound attenuation given the staff are using them for serious phone calls. Quirky elements were added to the phone booths – including stippled glass windows and an exposed light bulb that turns on over the door when the room is in use.
The traditional pub aesthetic was brought to life in other ways, through the rich greens and tan leather materials palette, alongside more intricate details such as wainscoting and decorative cornicing. The flooring in the front bar and barbershop area is defined by a dark timber herringbone vinyl, which also factored in the need for durability. Other details include a large beam that was clad in reclaimed Oregon, again as a nod to the English pub aesthetic, and an unexpected plaid carpet tile in the main work floor – just another way we were able to inject the fit-out with a strong concept.
For furniture, whitewood sourced a selection of second-hand pieces – chesterfield lounges, velvet armchairs – along with other Knick knacks to add a layer of English pub authenticity. One of our values is to never use products with new leather, as such all pieces in this fit-out with leather have come through second-hand sources.
Builder – Pep Build