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Dowsing Concrete

dowsing concrete
commercial office additions

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9 Ferguson Street, Kewdale
2012 - 2013
Concept Design, Design Development, Development Application, Construction Documentation + Contractor Selection

9 Ferguson Street is a substantial industrial block in Kewdale and is the headquarters for Dowsing Concrete. Located centrally on the block is an existing 1,240m2 warehouse and adjoining office space, surrounded by concrete hardstand on which company vehicles and equipment are parked and stored when not in use.

As the company continues to grow, adjoining blocks of land have been acquired to relieve the congestion of vehicles and equipment on site. With this growth of site staff came the requirement to grow office based administration staff numbers also. This was something that the existing space could not facilitate. Realising that it was not feasible to move the administration staff off-site, JUO was engaged to explore the possibility of creating more office space within the existing warehouse.

The brief was to accommodate additional secure office space with 3 managerial offices and adjacent open-plan workstations, an interview room, site staff training facility / boardroom, uniform storage and a large versatile staff lounge, where site staff would meet in the mornings, clock in and be briefed on the day ahead before being left for use by the administration staff and clients throughout the remainder of the day.

It was quickly realised that to put all of the accommodation requirements on one level was going to take up too much vital space within the warehouse. The extensive height of the warehouse roof offered the opportunity for us to explore the possibility of a two-storey structure. This was adopted as the most feasible option.

With the accommodation schedule catered for by the two-storey structure, attention was turned to the form of the structure. In plan, the structure is skewed by 10 degrees from the existing warehouse walls. This was primarily done to ensure that the circulation space necessary for large trucks to enter the warehouse was not impeded, but it also created an interesting form and perspective of this new insertion. The angle of the structure is further replicated in the cladding where panels are rotated 30 degrees on the ground floor and intersect with vertical panels on the upper floor, offering a subtle way-finding solution to the entry doors.

The finalised design centrally locates the staff lounge on the ground floor making it the hub of the structure; all circulation routes go through this space ensuring it is not under-utilised. To the rear of lounge, the existing office space is accessible through a secure door and to the right is the training room and boardroom. The location of the training room and boardroom off the staff lounge allow this space to also function as an ante space for larger functions, with a double height void to the left housing the staircase to the upper floor.

The upper floor is, like the existing office, a secure area, closed off on the upper landing. The offices were located on the upper floor to allow for increased observation of the warehouse. Extensive use of glazing also assisted with the penetration of secondary light from the open warehouse doors, creating a much more comfortable office environment.

The end result offers the client a functional space which has minimal impact on the warehouse in which it is located, but offers the client not only the space they need presently, but also room for further growth.