Woods Bagot’s Perth studio has been transformed at all levels, but the most unique one elicits its agile nature for work, a first for us and reflective of the future of workplace. The mezzanine serves as a communal social and events lounge space, which is now also being used as an exhibition space for a student project.
“The utilisation of club spaces in property has become the new norm for developers to attract tenants,” said Andrew Tang-Smith, Associate. “It’s a smart and creative way to bring different facets of the workplace. This is our future, being able to work any time anywhere in a place with different functionalities.”
Palindrome in Perth Studio Fabricated by Curtin University Students
Palindrome - a word, phrase or sequence that reads the same backward as forward.
Palindrome was a project led by second-year Curtin University students who spent seven and a half weeks in its design development and construction. A crowd-funded and Woods Bagot-sponsored Reading Room pavilion designed and fabricated by the students, it was donated to our new Perth Studio in the Palace Hotel. It now serves as a designers’ corner lounge that sits on the studio mezzanine level as the first of many potential student projects exhibitions.
Why is it called Palindrome and where did the idea come from?
The tessellating form of the undulating roof line is inspired by the tessellating motion of flipping pages from a book as inspiration to the idea of the reading room. Palindrome as a name, just fits well with how the profiles of each portal frame is read the same whether looking at it from one side or the other.
“It was inspiring to see the dedication and the teamwork that surfaced with this group of Curtin University students,” said Andrew who teaches at Curtin and encouraged his group to push the Palindrome idea further. “The students pitched the idea to us to sponsor them during a Glasshouse which was a great example of how one would pitch for investors in the real world. There were suggestions from the studio and then the rigorous fabrication process in the university workshops followed.”
The Palindrome helps anchor the far corner of the mezzanine and holds the space which enhances the contrast between the old and the new as it sits directly next to the 120-year-old original antique cabinetwork from the Palace and reacts well with the contemporary sculptural staircase on the opposite side of the space. Now with some arm chairs within, it’s a nice enclosed thinking space.
“Community engagement has become mainstream in university life, allowing for change and transformation to occur organically,” said Principal Grant Boshard. “The Perth studio has been dedicated in paving a path for the next generation. Over the past few years, we are honoured to sponsor scholarships to students at Curtin University. We are dedicated in serving not only as a resource but as a partner in transforming the world of students in the scope of design and architecture.”