ST KILDA, 1997

Cummins, an advertising agency, desired a space that was flexible, functional, that is memorable and provides a great ambience for a close-knit team of creative professionals. We used new composite foam materials and construction principles used by surfboard shapers to make furniture. This furniture is delightfully simple, so light it does away with the need for wheels or castors. One person can easily lift the 2.4m long bench. (Brearley Middleton)

Once the office of ther Merchant Builders, the office faces north-west to Albert Park. Painted in the dense corporate purple of the Cummins brand the cube of the foyer is illuminated by the white Neon Cummins logo. the reception desk is constructed from two road barriers, plate glass and steel.Inflatable balls are used in lieu of chairs, are just one wacky touch that appealed to the “whiz kids” of advertising.

The entire fitout and external retrofit was achieved within a modest $95,000 budget. A slick floor of varnished concrete reflects the reused 1960s perforated metal ceiling that conceal fluorescent lights.

A mirror on the north end wall creates an illusion of depth whilst doubling the view. Another trick employed is a skewed glass wall which sets one of the two rows of columns into diminishing couterpoint to enhance the depth of the space.

The glass wall encloses three curtained spaces, one silver lame, one corporate purple, one white. Screens of perforated stainless-steel and transluscent metallic fabric interact with the curtains, which also provide degrees of privavy and acoustic dampering.


“This remarkably zestful fitout proves again that innovative, vision-directed design is achievable wihtin small budgets.”

Leon Van Schaik, Dean of the Faculty of Constructed Environment at RMIT 1998



Cummins & Partners


Level 5, 201 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda 3182


SIDA — Runners-Up Best Commercial Design 1998
SIDA — Runners-Up Innovation & Excellence 1998


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