Throughout the fitout for Jemena Melbourne Workplace, American Walnut is consistently featured in a variety of forms. Timber is the consistent link across the seven floors of workspace and executive space. In each setting, timber is used as a medium to indicate social and collaborative spaces and spaces of importance (boardroom, dining room). The American Walnut speaks of warmth, honesty and integrity – values that the company hold true. Connecting the seven levels is a stair; the treads and handrail are made from solid timber and provide the visual and physical link to each level. The white “ribbon” form of the stair is supported by the contrasting dark treads. Throughout the space, the timber is a natural contrast between the clean “white” of the surrounding space, allowing for it to become standout in its natural forms.
The client wanted a species and cut that was indicative of elegance. The clients specially requested crown cut as they had previously used it in the sister project, the Sydney equivalent. The architects appreciated the raw patterning created by the crown cut, and felt this cut celebrated the timber and realised its full beauty.
All elements were meticulously matched and sampled. The timber veneer selection process was one with many parties involved. All of the pieces used were produced to the highest standard and were monitored to maintain consistency over the seven levels of fitout. The veneer used was successful in all parts of the project. When paired with bright colours and café style furniture, the walnut became “fun” and inviting, yet when paired with crisp white and metallic elements in the executive areas, the walnut becomes sophisticated and refined.
Used in contrast to the strong architectural form of the solid white stair, the walnut timber treads offer a relief in their warmth and organic nature. This contrast creates a dynamism between the stair’s internal and external components. The use of walnut on the central stair creates a link to other walnut elements across the project. The continuous surface is a physical, visual and social link for employees to all levels of the fitout.
The timber tread on the central stair was used for both aesthetic and pragmatic reasons. In a practical sense, the solid timber provided a surface that could handle a large amount of foot traffic. Visually, the continuous ribbon of timber provides a visual connection between the floors, supporting the overall stairs physical connection.
The solid walnut panelling is used in the reception area to see convey a sense of honesty. Being the first place a visitor experiences in the fit-out, a sense of arrival that corresponded to our client’s brand was created. The use of a solid timber with little processing was of great importance to the client as it would speak of the business’ core values. Combined with the crisp white floors and reception desk, the timber is able to speak for itself in its pure form.