Westspace Gallery Reception Desk, Melbourne
A front of house re-work features a reconfigurable desk and display unit that echoes the striking herringbone floor.
West Space, an independent arts organisation, is one of Melbourne’s foremost contemporary art spaces. As part of its development, West Space approached Workshop Architecture to work with them on re-imagining their front of house and bookshop to provide a meeting area that could double as a flexible working space for artists.
The centerpiece of this transformation is a new front desk. Operating as a reception and as a bar during openings, this desk needed to be relocatable, to connect or separate, in different combinations, the entry, gallery and flexible meeting space.
Workshop Architecture’s response was to use the dominant geometry of the gallery, its signature herringbone floor, as a formal system that allows the two part desk and display unit to be reconfigured in a number of different arrangements, each with a different spatial effect.
The two- way zig-zag pattern of the floor gives rise to a similar combination in the desk units, which provides sharp or subtle, internal and external, corner combinations as well as a linear arrangement for use as a bar. The use of the herringbone serves a double purpose, providing a strong physical presence that is strongly connected to the gallery space, suppressing the commonly seen featurism of such desks. This was important for an object that will always need to be less prominent than those created by the exhibiting artists.
The primary element in the desk is the folded aluminium front panels, a complexity balanced by simple formply framing and off the shelf filing cabinetry.
- Single visual and configuration system
- Clear, simple concept related to location
- Flexibility and variety
- Simple, logical construction system
- Visually strong but not overwhelming exhibited work
- Custom extruded and laser cut custom folded aluminium
- Natural and colour anodising
- Film face plywood (formply)
- Ikea filing unit
- Richmond Wheels castors
- Concept plan for front of house and desk
- Documentation for fabrication of desk
- Fabrication of timber elements
- Concept Design
- Construction Documentation
- Installation supervision
Project Team: Simon Whibley, Bahman Andalib, Piran Reitze, Aaron Robinson
Acheson Place, Coburg North
This project revolves around the simple but transformative act of cutting a hole in the middle of a large existing volume.
Fawkner Street House, South Yarra
Explores delicate control of circulation in curating series of visual thresholds that interact and entice occupants to transverse within spaces.
Grampians Peaks Trail Hiker Centre, Dunkeld
A place to gather, to pause or to simply pass through; this shelter and amenities pavilion captures these changing occupations as an intersection of paths.
Burrinja Cultural Centre
A refurbishment that reorganises and updates the experience of a diverse group of public activities.
Spensley Street Primary School
Transforming an outdoor terrace and redundant boiler room to provide a suite of collaborative working and learning spaces.
Art Space, Casey
A fragment made from fragments: exhibiting art within libraries using on the idea of a distributed gallery, made from a kit of parts.
Gold St Renovation
A simple spatial concept unites four different uses of one small room; a cupboard, a passage, a laundry, a bathroom.
Come Closer: A Meeting Pavilion, RMIT
A circle around a fire remembered as a brass table top, a surface gathering the marks of all who sit there.
Bldg. Eng. Office Fitout, West Melbourne
A light filled contemporary office space for fifty staff with strong connections to the built fabric of the existing building.