We spoke to architect Mark Davis of Dasch Associates about their design for the Royal Flying Doctors HQ.
The RFDS is all about improving health and saving lives across the vast distances and harsh landscapes within Australia. Required was a rethink of workplace design, going beyond the physical environment with multifunctional spaces encouraging collaboration and stimulating creativity, while linking to the identity and core values of the RFDS.
Once you had received the brief from the client, how did you approach this design? What was your way of thinking?
As a charity organisation the RFDS rely on donations from the public, with this in mind, having a tight budget challenged us to create an inspiring work environment within those financial constraints.
The RFDS fitout had to not only meets the functional project brief, but also goes beyond this by encouraging a healthy mentality within the workplace. Interactive crossroads encourages spontaneous meetings between staff, while also providing different zones for comfort, collaboration and focused work.
Upon entry, an abstract, organic recycled cardboard sculpture. This sits against a backdrop of raw concrete, exposed ductwork and a minimalist elegance of a contemporary design. The general office features various areas for staff to congregate and was designed to allow reconfiguration of the space when and as required. Being able to work with a wide range carpet option from Interface allowed us to clearly define area and intersections whilst working with the RFDS mantra of minimizing impact on local environment with a product that has social and globally consciousness. Sit-to-Stand workstations were introduced for all employees, and the overall layout was designed to encourage staff to be mobile throughout the workday in turn inspiring a healthy work-life.
How did the Interface carpet tiles contribute to this, e.g. What was your inspiration behind selecting a particular Interface collection?
With the great rang of Interface carpet tiles available we were able to references RFDS long history of involvement in the life and culture of Australian outback. We selected 3 patterns from across the collection . Net Effects range referenced the ocean in shades of blues, and greys, with Reclaim reflecting the earth.
How did you find designing with the Skinny Plank/Square tile format?
Working with Skinny plank and square format tiles allowed us to recreate the Australian landscape as seen from a Flying doctor pilots’ office window. One of the other benefits of the skinny plank we have found is the random texture with in the tiles. This gives the space a lot of depth and helped break up the larger space easily with very little effort or cost.