Camphin Boston is a Sydney-based accountancy and consultancy firm, servicing a range of high-end clients across the private, retail, agriculture and mining sectors. With an average age of twenty-five among their core team, the design needed to appeal to both the Millennial staff and the firm’s exclusive client-base.
With this in mind, the brief called for a classic and timeless design, with flexible and functional spaces to support multiple purposes, from small and large private client meetings to team training, sponsorship and staff events.
The design cleverly maximises a challenging floorplate, achieving a highly efficient layout for its modest 500 square metre space. The brief included requirements for thirty workstations (with room to expand), six separate Partner offices, a kitchen with cooking facilities suitable for catering events, breakout spaces, a dedicated quiet room, small meeting room and boardroom, along with administration, storage and filing areas, reception and waiting area.
The design brief was further influenced by a tight project timeframe, which required the quick relocation of Camphin Boston’s office following its acquisition for Sydney Metro upgrades. With a deadline for the new year, construction was carried out in two phases; the first stage completed in a tight 6 weeks, commencing November 2016 and completed by January 2017 ready for staff to move in post-break, with minor works and final fittings completed post-occupancy by October 2017.
Mid-century meets the Millennials
Classic design with contemporary functionality to suit both staff and clients
Functional layout and spaces to support multiple purposes
A workplace to foster company culture and staff development
Overlooking Hyde Park and centrally located in the heart of Sydney’s legal precinct, the design balances classic mid-century appeal with contemporary functionality. Recognising the importance of investing in an environment that fosters both business and staff objectives, the result is a warm and open office environment that facilitates socialisation and collaboration, while providing the necessary privacy and security for clients.
Seeking a classic aesthetic with appeal across the generations, the design takes inspiration from Mad Men, drawing on a 1960s vibe and mid-century design, highlighted by curved joinery and glazed elements throughout, with repeating materials including marble, oak, brass detailing and retro furnishings.
Functionality is crucial to the design, with a clear front and back of house layout to suit both staff and client needs. The waiting lounge, quiet room, meeting room and boardroom are all situated front of house, maximising security and privacy for clients, while the back of house remains open-plan with casual meeting spaces, break out zone and kitchen.
With the need to host regular staff, training and client events onsite, the back of house, and in particular kitchen with adjacent break out zone, are designed for maximum flexibility, complete with additional fridges, ovens and cooking facilities to allow for in-house catering.
Camphin Boston’s philosophy of mentorship and education of young staff is also an important factor in the back of house design, with the Partner offices positioned next to the core staff workstations to ensure easy access and regular communication between Partners, management and staff. Despite the often sensitive nature of their work, Camphin Boston were mindful of providing a space to suit the collaborative and relaxed work habits of its young staff, including low desk partitions rather than cubicles, and a meeting table that doubles as a ping pong table during down-time.
The project presented a number of challenges, including an irregular shaped floor plate centred around two separate lift shafts and a plant room. The challenge was to design a layout to keep the accounting team together, with front of house and client accessible areas flowing from reception, rather than being segregated. This was achieved through ensuring a line of sight from administration to reception and front of house (when unmanned), through to the back of house, without compromising security.
Due to the tight timeframe created by the unexpected relocation, lead times were crucial to the design and materials selection. Careful planning and project management was required to ensure delivery on time, while ensuring the original mid-century design intent was retained. In particular, the design team worked closely with the client and contractors to ensure key features such as the curved glass were implemented without substitution.
A considered and clever design, Camphin Boston’s new office strikes a balance between flow and functionality, business and social, staff and client needs.