living Edge Flagship showroom, alexandria
Architect: Woods Bagot
Photographer: Trevor Mein
Project Completed: 2015
Situated within a vibrant new commercial hub in Sydney’s Alexandria, Woods Bagot has designed the flagship showroom for Australian furniture supplier and retailer Living Edge.
Built during WWII as storage for wool transported from around Australia before being shipped overseas, the Woolstores are transforming into a dynamic retail hub.
“Extending the food and retail precinct that began with popular café The Grounds, the Woolstores provide a rich backdrop for a new retail precinct that focuses on design,” says Woods Bagot Principal Domenic Alvaro. “Pedestrian thoroughfares will create a laneway environment offering a well-defined balance of community and retail spaces.”
“The design aims to deliver an engaging experience for customers. The showroom is all about immersion, creating volumes of space and providing the opportunity for visitors to properly connect with Living Edge products,” says Woods Bagot Head of Interiors Todd Hammond.
The heritage nature of the building was a key consideration in the design of the showroom. Woods Bagot engaged a heritage consultant who helped preserve and restore the original structure. The translation between the heritage building and the new fit-out is a critical part of the concept.
With no street frontage for the showroom, the design challenge was to create a space that would be visible to pedestrians as they explore the precinct. The design response was to create double height displays around the perimeter of the building providing a dramatic backdrop to the furniture and products on show.
As a result of its heritage, the original structure of the Woolstores is predominantly timber, which has a beautiful aged patina. A combination of stained American Oak is contrasted with concrete and base building timbers to produce an aesthetic that aligns to the brand.
“Living Edge is a classic and understated brand, with a certain refined dignity – it was natural that the design aesthetically reflected that presence,” says Todd.