Interior and graphic design agency Setsquare Studio took a modern retro approach to the refurbishment of an old mechanic warehouse in Northcote outside of Melbourne, by playing with splashes of bold colors, form, and layout that ultimately result in a transformation unrecognizable from its past. To complement the style of the whole warehouse building, the design team reserved the metal cladding and structural components of the existing steel frame site and the monochrome industrial aesthetic.
The project was the second HQ commissioned by Firecracker — this event design agency fuses food, styling to create memorable experiences and interaction for guests so it was important to have a venue up to the challenge. Asked to construct a space that was flexible in layout and style, Setsquare Studio took cues from 60s retro styling. Let’s delve into the project!
The conversation pit combines contemporary pared-back finishes complete with retro details like the shagpile carpet. Custom metal windows and doors stand out as the defining features in the space.
Often found in contemporary interiors with large open floor plan, the sunken lounge serves as a perfect spot for making a larger group feel connected.
“The site prior to being Firecracker HQ2 was a cold, dirty, mechanics warehouse. It required a lot of vision to see past the filth to help it reach its true potential — a warm and inviting space rich in color and soul.” — Setsquare Studio
Designers fabricated the arched windows and doors in a bid to separate the vibrant studio from the commercial kitchen space, thus allowing the small office to become “behind the scenes”. What’s more, the arch along with brass Dowel Jones light fittings balances the retro vibe with industrial characteristics.
Set within a mechanics warehouse, the color blocked lounge installed beneath the exposed pipework in the ceiling is backed by pared wall panels and concrete flooring to create a strong visual presence. Green plants have also been used to dress the space.
Setsquare intended for the minimalist industrial aesthetic to allow Firecracker Events to easily set up and reconfigure displays, according to the requirements of different clients. On top of that, the center focal point of the sunken lounge with its curved banquette seat redefines the (previously cold) space as a cozy, break-out area where people can have lunch or conduct business meetings.
’60s Swinging Style
The powder room pays homage to Mad Men and the styles of the 1960s with its use of striking patterns, furniture layouts, and colors in bold hues especially in its display of textured carpeting, vintage wood pieces, and accessories. The designers treated the place as a blank canvas and created a room that dared to be flamboyant.
“The new powder room is another key space within Firecracker HQ2. Rather than being a bathroom per se we saw the space as an important area for people to gather and be present.” — Setsquare Studio
A mix and match of vibrant hues for appliances and vivid fabric patterns are the defining statements of Sixties style. With psychedelic color combos of layered oranges, rich reds and pops of green and vintage leather playing off one another, the room is jet-setting, provocative and striking.
It’s the combination of nostalgia that allows for the selection of furniture, rugs, and wallpaper to balance beautifully. Finished in warm reds that are layered in texture, the wash room, paired with leather upholstery and greenery, evokes a fun-loving vintage flair.
“People’s reactions to the powder room has also been fantastic and unexpectedly became my favorite space within the overall project,” reveals the lead designer of the project from Setsquare Studio.
What do you think of this project? Can you see how industrial glam mixes with sixties style?
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