West Carr & Harvey

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  • 2021

  • Architectural
    Interior

Designed By:

  • Studiomint
  • Alla DeLion

Commissioned By:

West Carr & Harvey

Designed In:

Australia

West Carr & Harvey is the oldest accountancy firm in Geelong, Victoria. This new workplace ties the company’s extensive history with their contemporary operations. The space embraces the site’s industrial roots, while providing an enriching home for their next chapter.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • When West Carr & Harvey approached us, they had just turned 70, cementing themselves as the oldest accountancy in Geelong. In celebration, they decided to move from their 16-year tenure at Freemasons Hall on Gheringhap Street. Our challenge was to provide a space that would reflect the company and its values, allow for the firm's continued growth, and help the company keep up with a changing landscape - all within the confinements of an unmaintained, heritage-listed, ex-industrial property. Many factors were considered when designing this space, but the biggest was incorporating the sense of professional 'transparency' that's essential in accounting.

  • Housed in the 1915 Federal Mills industrial development - originally manufacturing woollen uniforms in WW1 - the office offers diverse spaces including a café-style staff room, gardened outdoor barbecue area, open-plan office and central utility hub. The client took a big leap by transitioning to an open-plan working environment - unusual for accountants. This open-plan environment compliments the modern work landscape while allowing for future growth. Most staff work in the open office, with directors based in the surrounding offices. To incorporate the client's value of 'transparency', these offices use glass partitions which remove the hard border between staff, while reducing noise.

  • With a number of established business relationships in the precinct, this move was a logical one and, according to one director, "vital to allow continuing growth in the business". Integrating the brand, culture and lifestyle of the company within a beautifully restored historical building has given the company a space that better represents the firm and its values. The new design represents how the company has aged gracefully and evolved with the trends and demands of the contemporary financial industry. West Carr & Harvey is already considered an institution in their field, but this new presence cements their standing.

  • By incorporating the buildings history into the fitout, we were able to provide West Carr & Harvey with a space that stands out in the competitive landscape while representing their balance of refinement and experience. A number of existing features and items in the old mill were repurposed or highlighted to tie the building's history into the firm's contemporary operation. The floor itself throughout the space is the original slab used by the factory, simply re-finished and polished. Existing brickwork was cleaned up and used as feature walling in the fitout. The wool mill's old barn door, well maintained despite showing its history, was repurposed and included as the entrance to the staff room. Bathrooms featuring glass flooring expose old tunnels beneath the building. Artwork on the wall along the open office shows a bird's eye view of Port Geelong - an homage to the area in which West Carr & Harvey has been allowed to grow and flourish. We also incorporated biophilic design elements into the space through built-in desk planters and inclusion of natural wood. Both elements mimic nature just enough to enhance employee wellbeing while maintaining a sleek, professional aesthetic.