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Showcasing the creation of a new life for an old building, Landini Associates brief was to restore the former Collingwood industrial warehouse into the new headquarters base for T2. The aim was to respect and celebrate the original building, while creating a dramatic statement to represent the T2 company’s ethos. Throughout the building, timber beams, columns and brick walls were sandblasted to bring back their original finish whilst a few scuffs and marks are kept as a remembrance of its history. This was contrasted with T2’s trademark dark, streamlined pallet.

Perceived constraints were turned into an advantage, exploiting various levels within the warehouse while designing a unified space. This was due to the site being located on a sloped block through to the rear street. This resulted in creating a different arrival experiences for both the public and staffs.

With the street frontage lower than the general entry, the public is ushered into the space through an oversized steel framed pivot door into a double height space. Led by concrete steps, guests are greeted by a spotlighted oversized T2 logo featured in incandescent light bulbs. To the left of the entrance is a Tea Bar, a façade reception.

It is an informal place to stop, drink and chat to guests, personifying T2’s identity. This space also acted as the trial concept for T2’s latest tea-retailing concept T2B, which similarly features a large cast concrete bar and Tea Library.

In comparison, the staff entry is from the upper level rear car park, from where they walk down onto a lavish catwalk in the center of the office warehouse. This acts as both a uniting feature and the sites backbone, yet separates the space into two. Both sides of the railings feature different faces. One, a clean line façade featuring a sleek black steel panel that hides the catwalk, while the other featuring a warm and raw industrial finish, with a timber panel, exposed steel and mesh steel frame balustrade.

While the rawness and industrial experience is continued upstairs to the tea making and tasting workshop and CEO’s office, a completely different colour palette is entertained. It emphasizes a white, clean space, encouraging light and nature to transfix the room through the opened windows. The development marks a new era for T2, providing and innovative and functional office space that reflects a deep understanding of culture, urbanity, and of course, celebrates the centuries-old art of tea-making.

Project design team: Mark Landini, Wenny Arief, Isti Yudibrata, Sarah Maclsaac

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