Inner City Chic
Brick sales and display centres have traditionally serviced outer suburban greenfield developments. In response to the demands of an increasingly sophisticated market, they have evolved to feature more life-like presentations and greater use of indoor displays in recent years.
Austral Bricks® and its associated companies have now taken the next big step and created two new gallery-like Studios in Sydney and Melbourne that are focused at architects and the inner-urban market.
While there is still a place for Design Centres servicing estate developments, in both Sydney and Melbourne there are an increasing number of inner-suburban redevelopments, especially knock-down/ rebuilds, and a booming market in redevelopments and high-end, architect driven construction.
New Studios are transforming the role of brick in architecture
The place of bricks in architectural projects has been transformed by recently-developed premium product ranges such as Elements®, Burlesque® and Dynasty®, and innovations such as Brick Art™.
The newly-opened Sydney CBD Design Studio and Melbourne Brick Studio are located, staffed and equipped to work with architects, builders and their clients.They showcase not only bricks but also pavers, masonry, roof tiles and timber from across the Brickworks Building Products™ group.
STYLE IN THE CITY
The Sydney CBD Design Studio was opened by City of Sydney Councillor Shayne Mallard. The spectacular event included a grand piano, singers and dancing girls delivered to the door in Austral Bricks trucks with drivers in tail suits instead of their usual Stubbies! Despite the unseasonal weather, there were over 150 attendees drawn from Sydney’s architectural and building fraternity.
Located in a ground-floor retail space in stylish Carrington Street, the Sydney CBD Design Studio provides a retail presence but is also well placed for the many architectural practices and major builders located in or around the city centre.
From the street this could be a high-end gallery and upon entering this perception is reinforced.The showroom area is dominated not by product displays but two brick feature walls that have a strong “wow factor.”The “Illusions Wall”made from Bowral Bricks® Charolais Cream bricks, fans out in three dimensions while the “Grunge Wall” pays tribute to the area’s industrial past.
Both walls and the minimalist interior were designed by Siren Design Group.The attractive flooring is Wormy Chestnut™ from Auswest Timbers®, part of the Brickworks Building Products group.
Most products are discretely stored in cabinets and brought out onto one of the large work benches as required.This allows the staff to work with clients and help refine their selections.
Architects are encouraged to bring their clients and use the well-equipped boardroom.The facilities have also hosted industry events, such as AIA gatherings.
The CBD Design Studio is located at 50 Carrington Street, Sydney, close to Wynyard Station. It is open from 9 am ‘til 6 pm weekdays and 9 am ‘til noon Saturday, other times by appointment.Telephone 02 9830 7380.
It’s often said that Sydney and Melbourne are as different as they are alike.And the new Melbourne Brick Studio in inner-city Richmond is a perfect example of that.
The location, in fashionable Swan Street, is surrounded by upmarket building product and homewares vendors (and down the street from Melbourne’s Ferrari and Maserati showroom). Richmond is also the home of many leading architectural practices.
The venue is not a glass-fronted shop but a large warehouse that has undergone a metamorphosis under the guidance of Tim Black, the B of BKK Architects. Like the Sydney Design Studio, there is an identical “Illusions Wall” feature but that’s where the similarity ends.
Out front is a low brick wall with a dentated and stepped pattern that has been dubbed “playful” by one commentator. It is also functional, having been used as a convenient seat by pedestrians!
The Brick Studio’s theme is that of a gallery rather than a display centre.The industrial theme is reinforced by the use of “raw”materials: brick, concrete and timber. Dominating the display area is a forest of towering brick columns flanking a massive work bench made from timber supplied by Auswest Timbers®. As in the Sydney CBD Design Studio, most products are stored and brought out to allow staff to work directly with the customer.
As well as being convenient for visitors from the local area and Melbourne’s CBD, the Brick Studio is close to the Monash Freeway and CityLink. Like its Sydney sibling, it is well equipped and available for industry functions and presentations.
The Brick Studio is at 490 Swan Street, Richmond and open 9 am ‘til 5 pm weekdays and 10 am ‘til 4 pm Saturdays, other times by appointment.Telephone 03 9303 4740.
For its grand opening, the cavernous showroom of the Melbourne Brick Studio was converted into a nightclub with thumping music, smoke machines, moody uplighting and canapés served in the core holes of bricks!
Article by brickworksbp
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