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The ERD project was a new office space in Carlton for a graphic design firm to be located in a century old brick warehouse. The challenges in this long, narrow, three level building were many, particularly the proper zoning of different office uses and providing natural daylight to important areas.
My role as Project Architect for Ridolfi Design began on this project from the very beginning, where an open floor plan was developed which would retain the building's character as well as take advantage of daylight and ventilation from windows at each end. The reception area and meeting room were located on the ground floor for easy client accessibility. For others, a stairway led directly up to the administrative area. This was separated from management by only a clear glass panel which provided privacy to the managers but allowed light to be shared. A second stair was then configured to double as a room divider, bounding a quiet well lit reference library at the opposite end.
This stairway led to a large open studio space on the top floor. Its existing side walls contained a series of brick arches, or arcades, running the length of the building, and the room was topped by heavy timber trusses. Both were left exposed and unpainted. The end walls were then rendered and the ceiling was insulated and plastered. These were painted white to match the client's existing workstations and cabinetry which were reused to brighten the space as well as to contrast and highlight the more rustic elements. Finally, the toilet block and kitchenette were added. These rooms were raised onto a plinth and brightly finished using the colour of the ERD logo to emphasise that it was a new element introduced within the otherwise uninterrupted room.