The refurbishment of the Master Builders Queensland offices was a big step for the board, and a huge commitment to change. From the start, we were aware of the association’s heritage, and its importance to the building community.
We went on a journey with the Master Builders team where we explored who they were, how they wanted to be presented to the general community, and what mattered the most to them. This helped to identify the essence of the project for us – the few key things that needed to hold true through the whole fitout. These qualities included the following: heritage, craftsmanship, high- quality of workmanship, functionality, connection, and modesty.
This exploration led us to look at the history of Queensland builders – their craft, and the materials they work with. We created subtle touches through the fitout showcasing traditional materials in their raw form, to remind visitors of the origins of Master Builders. These little details helped to identify different spaces as you move through the building and help to create the sense of a journey – you go from timber through copper, steel and brass details as you get further into the building.
Another key concern that came out in early workshops with the clients was the connectivity between different teams in the office. The old layout consisted a segmented cluster of small rooms, which meant that space was being used inefficiently, and many of the staff felt disconnected from the rest of the office and from the members. We were able to combine spaces and win enough previously-wasted area to allow for centralised break-out spaces, small team meeting rooms and spaces for people to congregate casually away from their work desks. Most of the lower ground floor was repurposed as a refreshing lunch area with the feeling of an outdoor café, complete with extensive end-of-trip facilities.
Photography by Sam Thies & Josh Thies