Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

 

There’s nothing quite like uncovering a gem as you peel away decades of paint. Cox Architecture have recently finished gutting and restoring their home in the Old Mineral House in Brisbane. Originally built in 1890 it is one of the few remaining Victorian buildings in the city. Located along Brisbane River, they’ve lived in this home since 1998. But much like an old married couple, they’d got used to one another other and thought they knew each other inside out. Turns out, by the time they’d stripped back old carpets, pulled out false ceilings, exposed the brickwork, demolished walls and torn down the result of decades of piecemeal conversions, they hardly knew each other at all.

The old cast iron columns revealed themselves in all their splendour along with the divine fishbone, timber ceiling details. The bricks long covered in decades of paint had a patina that was to become a feature of the new fitout.

“Stripping the brickwork exposed a remarkable patina of colour and texture that tells an evocative story of the building’s history, which is kept on-show as we added new pages to the story of Old Mineral House,” explains the design team.

It’s a typical open plan layout, a familiar sight within design studios. But it’s the way they have articulated each of these areas through application of contemporary material while keeping both the historical elements that serve as a rare reminder of Brisbane’s industrial heritage, that feels a bit special.

 

Related: Stories On Design // Inside Design & Architecture Studios.

 

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

Cox Architecture's New Brisbane Studio | Yellowtrace

 

Take the dividing walls between the work areas or the ‘joinery spine’ as the architects refer to it. This serves as a design review space which extends the length of the studio. The spine is bordered by co-working and break-out settings, including a Virtual Reality space, team tables and model making workshop. The new palette of black timber, steel, and brass detailing, draws from the building’s origins as a warehouse from the neighbouring Smellie & Co Foundry.

Then there’s the sexy joinery of black steel used in the uber cool kitchen with its seven-metre long dining table. The table encourages a convivial atmosphere which provides an understated and family-like approach to the practice. It’s also handy to spread out sketches and pull material boards together or brainstorm how to create the next Cox Architecture masterpiece.

The kitchen connects with the boardroom through a series of double height, glazed pivot doors, which creates a ‘Town Hall’ for events and staff meetings without isolating the space from the studio. New interventions are purposefully restrained to maintain the building’s original proportions and let the building’s heritage be the hero.

It is all just mouth-wateringly good design from start to finish. It’s hard to imagine they’re getting any work done – one suspects the design team must be torn trying not to Instagram every conceivable aspect of it.

 

Related: Stories On Design // Inside Design & Architecture Studios.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Cox Architecture. Photography by Christopher Frederick-Jones.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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