“Working with ICON has been a treat! Thanks to Gavin, Bridget D & the team! Moving office locations & bringing the Buhler brand to life was made easier!” Bianca Hamann - Lead Project Engineer, Buhler Group
“Innovating for a better world”, global process engineering behemoth Buhler are starting to thrive in their new Melbourne innovation centre. Buhler chose to partner with ICON INTERIORS after a rigorous selection process, to design & deliver the workplace transformation of their new tenancy. ICON INTERIORS mission of transforming workplaces to create healthy, happier & more sustainable businesses directly aligns with Buhler’s purpose - innovating for a better world. The Buhler innovation centre deploys VR technologies in the customer experience journey with working machinery, presentation areas with stage seating and abundance of workplace choices from quiet rooms to electric sit/stand desks & treadmill options for a walk and talk. With ICON INTERIORS in-house expertise, our Design Team applied the science behind design including spatial engagement, ergonomics and acoustic mitigation strategies as well as optimising natural light to the workstation area drawing on the WELL™ standards. The site complexities with Town Planning overlays required a 2 -stage project rollout which we achieved with a tight construction program, allowing the Buhler team to get settled into the amazing new space while the Town Planning amendments were processed through the Shire Council. The creation of a mezzanine to gain upper level floor space required a Town Planning permit together with a secondary Building Permit to achieve compliance for the client experience machinery observation area.
When Bianca Hamann came from South Africa to Australia Buhler , she was blown away. And not in a good way. The Australian office was below the global standard by a long shot- yellow walls, a pokey warehouse and a less than efficient layout. In order to resolve this issue, Bianca researched several providers very thoroughly. We went through an exhaustive process to show our capabilities in space planning, interior design & legal expertise, which were much needed to secure the Building Permit for the project. Eventually, Buhler chose ICON INTERIORS to transform a new tenancy from base build to fully functional!
We guided Buhler through the tricky process to secure a Building Permit. Additional complexity around this job, caused by the fact that it was a warehouse and office building as a part of a multi- unit industrial development, meant we needed to navigate several legal issues. As the office/ warehouse unit in Melbourne that Buhler had leased was completed before the titles were issued, we were unable to use a VicSmart application (which is the express lane) and had to use a standard Building Permit application. VicSmart cannot be used within certain proximities to residential properties. However, because we use private Town Planners, we were still able to receive the permit and begin on site in record time- timing of the project and how long the office fitout was going to take was a key concern for Bianca in order to be finished for a globally scheduled grand opening. Check out our blog here on how long a fitout takes in Melbourne.
The design of the space was very thought out, as it had to be agile so it could be used as a space for trade shows and other events. We went through a rigorous design phase & hours of workshopping with Bianca & Raphael Krucker (former MD of Oceania) in order to create the ideal balance between fixed and fluid.
To pronounce on Buhler’s mission to “innovate for a better world” and increase fast decisions in the workplace, Raphael wanted all meeting spaces except the boardroom to be stand up height tables with no chairs. This avoids long meetings which achieve nothing and quickens progress to a solution.
Sit stand desks were also a key component of the transformation. They were a priority for the company as Buhler is very conscious of the wellness of their staff. This ensures each workspace can not only be easily adjusted for the individual user but allows for people to stand or sit as they wish. The human body is designed to neither sit nor stand, but to move, and movement promotes fresh ideas and positive thought.
The vision behind the design was a very fresh, simple & welcoming palette. On the ground floor, a light wood-look vinyl plank from Godfrey Hirst grounds the space, paired with a mid- brown timber and clean white powdercoating. Colourful cushions on the stage seating add a punch of the Buhler corporate colours, but the star of the space is the massive murals on multiple walls, demonstrating the Buhler mission and their involvement in every aspect of life.
On the top floor, working with the existing carpet from the base build, we used Polar White Polytec laminate throughout, creating a blank canvas for creativity and brainwaves. A soft marled grey acoustic panelling and black task chairs complete the space, interspersed with a touch of timber in the planter units. White walls create a space for their work boards, tracking a project from concept to completion throughout various stages.
The new mezzanine unlocked a huge amount of value for all the staff, giving them a large breakout space- this mezzanine doubles as a viewing platform for their ground-breaking machinery when clients come in.
ICON INTERIORS loved working with Bianca & Raphael! We finished the space for the grand opening (see the video here ) although application for the mezzanine to be enclosed was not yet complete. Working within Buhler’s tight timeline and tight budget, we completed the transformation to a high usability standard for them to move forward into the future as a company!