2018 Sydney Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Image Credit : Caitlin Withers - photo@caitlinwithers.com


Project Overview

Conversion of heritage listed Harbour Bridge Warehouses into new co-working space.

Project Commissioner

Work Inc

Project Creator



Design Team:
BJB Architects - Architect

Consulting Team:
ACOR Consulting - Structural Engineer, Austral Energy - Electrical Engineer, PACE Engineering - Mechanical Engineer, Holmes Fire - Fire Engineering, Paul Davies - Heritage Architect

Contractor - Infigo

Project Brief

Our mission was to an create innovative and functional space that enables the natural collaboration inherent to good co-working facilities.

In doing this it was integral to the success of the project that the heritage aspects of the site of one of Sydney's most historic assets were highlighted. The design had to be tailored to the strict heritage requirements of the site yet maintain the client's requirements of a space that has optimal capacity and a unique character that would attract the tech and design savvy market for co-working spaces.

Project Innovation/Need

The site is located underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge and as such is heritage listed and a prized asset of the state's heritage officers. Their conditions were that all new works had to be constructed within the existing fabric of the building with no connection to the existing structure.

Given such an onerous condition of construction and in order to create a unique feel for the space, the design team utilised shipping containers to create each individual office. Reclaimed steel was then sandblasted and refinished to create the supporting structure for each level of containers.

Again due to the strict heritage conditions, all building services had to be designed in such a way as to not impact the existing fabric of the building. All mechanical ventilation was achieved naturally through refurbished louvered windows. These windows also allowed the utilisation of abundant natural light which was further highlighted in the design via luxurious atrium designs and cantilevered structure.

Design Challenge

The clientele for co-working space is one that is attracted to unique spaces yet craves the function and comfort of a traditional, A-grade office space.

As such, it was imperative that our new space had all the modern comforts, such as lightning fast, fibre based internet connection -necessary for all the aspiring Zuckerberg's in the house - whilst couched in a space that was as unique as the firms occupying it. It was also very important that the space facilitated interaction and collaboration between all users.

The design team utilised open and airy breakout spaces with furniture settings focused on interaction. We also capitalised on the 13 metre high building fabric with the use of powerful uplighting and eye catching, locally commissioned mural paintings to create a space that every user wants to bring their clients and friends to.

The unique construction and finishes to typically mundane building elements such as lift shafts and partition walls was also an integral element in bringing the space to life.


All materials used on the project were locally sourced. The re-use of old shipping containers as one of our key design elements was also a testament to the viability of sustainable construction with a focus on recyclable materials.

Air conditioning, typically the most energy consuming service in any building, was designed in such a way that natrual air flows were maximised. In a typical day, air conditioning is only used by occupants during 30 degree plus days.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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