the bunker.

Whilst wasting away sick in bed this week, I began to read the many design periodicals that had been purchased and retired to my burgeoning 'to-read' pile. A particular stand out was an article within the recent issue of Artichoke Magazine featuring Clare Cousins Architects' project The Bunker.

Within a brutalist 1970's office building in North Melbourne, the new home for Clare's architecture practice is now housed alongside a construction company (which shares the same floor) and a graphic design studio situated below. The approach of the non-corporate environment includes the retention of the existing shell of the building, including the reuse of parts of the original office fitouts.

What particularly stands out for me in this project is the authenticity demonstrated through a minimal yet refined materiality of the industrial palette of hoop pine ply, concrete, concrete blockwork - teamed with carefully selected furniture items such as the marble-topped Henry Wilson A- joint trestle tables (whose work I have a personal predilection for since I came across it last year in a fitout in Surry Hills).

I also appreciate the positive social implications of providing shared kitchen zones, given the shared kitchen zones allow for interactions between the architecture practice and the construction company. I think this also reflects positively on the changing dynamic of the profession, encouraging multi-disciplinary collaborations.

Simple yet highly refined - beautiful and inspiring work as always.

Images by Lisbeth Grosmann, via Clare Cousins Architects website.


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