Built in 1870, the iconic building has had many lives from engineering works to an art gallery and now as the new Design Nation showroom in a vibrant and active part of Redfern.
To bring the building back to its former glory, Director of Design Nation, Marnie Hammond did not have to look too far for design services, using her talented brother, Todd Hammond, a prominent design leader within the industry. The two came together with the building owner, Bryan Rutter, to collaborate on the design, transforming the dilapidated space into a showcase of local and international products from around the globe.
Playing true to its history, rendered walls and painted columns and beams were stripped back to reveal the original brickwork and original warm, rich timber. New polished concrete floors were installed to create a functional yet industrial style finish. All windows and doors were reinstated with original detailing.
The interior consists of a series of decorative joinery panels that take reference from the heritage of the building but also act as spatial divisions to create a range of different sized zones that reflect the proportions of environments that the furniture would be used within. These panels act as a neutral backdrop, highlighting the furniture and lighting on display, while also providing concealed storage.
The finishes are a delicate balance between the raw warehouse envelope and the refined and polished insertion of the objects within. This contrast of inherited textures and the honed finishes of the new, creates a dynamic visual appearance where old and new are complementary. New finishes, consisting of white polyurethane, natural oak timber and brass mesh, are used throughout the interior and in a finely detailed screening device that separates the showroom from the office space.
An espresso bar at the front of the building is part of the client experience as they enter the building and progress through to the showroom. A heritage window and door system separates the two functions but maintains visual connectivity. The internal space flows on to an outdoor deck at the back, showcasing the outdoor furniture and lighting collections on offer as well as being a relaxed entertainment area.
The new showroom is situated on George Street, Redfern, which is morphing into an edgier and more colourful version of its northern neighbour, Surry Hills. The precinct has a strong community feel, with a diverse mix of restaurants, bars and creative companies nearby.
Designer: Todd Hammond I Builder: Elan Construct I Photographer: Michael Wee