“Open up, Open in and Open out”. Blurring the Edges Between Spaces, Reimagining the World of Industrial Design.
When Mirvac Design Director, Andrew La was tasked with the challenge of surpassing industry conventions and tenant expectations in industrial design, it was an opportunity to “cross the floor” bringing with him decades of learnings, inspirations and design principles drawn from residential and commercial design.
The brief from client, Mirvac, was to elevate traditional industrial office/warehouse design to achieve better outcomes for tenants and the broader community in an asset class that had historically focussed on function, cost efficiency and practicality.
“Blurring the edges between spaces was a guiding concept that helped our team to think differently about how we considered our specific site responses and the evolving needs of tenants’ and their employees. It was all about approaching our design with a focus on our ability to open up, open in and open out ” says Andrew La.
While built form was the subject of the brief, Andrew and his team were also focussed on creating ‘softer’ lifestyle benefits to foster a sense of community, an aspect not traditionally associated with industrial design. Think social connections through the introduction of amenities traditionally enjoyed by residential and commercial developments such as a central café and landscaped outdoor courtyards offering access to natural light, fresh air and common areas to encourage circulation between a diverse range of tenants.
Raising the bar on the design of industrial assets required a significant process of consultation and engagement with tenants not accustomed to the level of planning and specification that subsequent stages of construction and delivery would demand.
“The process of re-imagining an asset class that is traditionally bottom line focussed and taking stakeholders on the creative journey was definitely one that required imagination, vision and courage for the team at Mirvac Design and the tenant” says La.
“The success of the strategy employed by our team can be seen in a range of projects that have since garnered widespread industry accolades. Awards, including South Eveleigh NSW Architecture Heritage Commercial Awards, The Fabric VIC Development of the Year Urban Developer Awards and AIA NSW Award for Harold Park Harold, amongst the growing list, have recognized Mirvac Design’s ability to deliver a response tailored to suit both location, the clients’ needs, those of their employees, and the local community.” La continues.
Mirvac’s premium logistics hub, Calibre, located in Eastern Creek, NSW, raised the bar for industrial and warehouse facilities in Australia. Completed in December 2018, Calibre’s 22-hectare site delivered a blend of flexible warehousing and office spaces, providing 110,000 sqm floor space across five buildings.
Switchyard, a 14-hectare site located in Auburn, NSW, was officially opened on 1st December 2023 as a state-of-the-art industrial estate and was designed with considerations of the surrounding environment, local industrial and agricultural history.
Says La of this most recent development: “ Respect and consideration of local heritage and the cultural diversity of Switchyard’s western Sydney location was top of mind for us during the design process. Switchyard has delivered next generation, sustainably focussed warehouse spaces and units with exceptional onsite amenities, including a café delivered to the standards that you would expect to see in Sydney’s CBD. “ Says La.
Mirvac Design has created a new standard in industrial warehousing that has exceeded industry expectations. A visionary brief provided Andrew La and his team to deliver exemplary industrial solutions which deliver functionality, flexibility, and sustainable outcomes for tenants and their employees, and enduring portfolio value for Mirvac and key stakeholders.