The designers of Birkenstock’s award-winning new Melbourne headquarters say they drew heavily on nature to complete their design.
Melbourne Design Studios was tasked with transforming a neglected two-storey heritage listed building in Clifton Hill into the footwear designer’s state-of-the-art head office. The result, they say, is proving sustainability has a part in good corporate office design and has set new benchmarks for sustainable environments and the future of retail.
“The Birkenstock brand stands for sustainability, quality and craftsmanship. We ensured these elements were reflected in every design choice for their new headquarters and retail experience,” says studio director Marc Bernstein-Hussmann.
“The main consideration was to create a healthy and beautiful environment that not only reflected the Birkenstock brand, but also lived and breathed it.”
The design picked up four awards in the recent Building Designers Association of Victoria Building Design Awards, including Building Design of the Year.
Bernstein-Hussmann says the design translated Birkenstock core values into joyful spatial experiences, intuitively illustrating the brand’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, sustainability, honesty and a healthy lifestyle.
Paul Hassall, chair of the judging panel, says design consideration had been applied to every aspect of the project without appearing overworked.
“This project does not just pay lip-service to sustainability. It is obvious that staff wellbeing and connectivity, customer experience and the Birkenstock philosophy have all been carefully considered,” Hassall says. “Refined space planning, the selection of natural and sustainable materials, recycled elements, extensive use of indoor planting and natural light show a maturity in considering the building, its users, customers, and the natural environment.”
The project has been shortlisted for the inaugural National Alliance of Building Designers Awards to be held at Grand Designs Live in Melbourne next month.
Design: Melbourne Design Studios