Wilson Architects Office
Wilson Architects have been in continuous practice since 1884. In 1959, Blair Wilson (then Managing Director) purchased an old residence in Brisbane's run down inner city fringe as the Practices office. A significant fire in the building in 1981 required an almost complete rebuild however the building then comfortably supported around 15 staff until 2005 when the Practice enjoyed huge growth with a staff increase up to 40 employees.
A solution to reengineer the existing workplace was planned to accommodate all staff on the one floor working intimately and collaboratively. There was an opportunity to expand the office into the building's adjacent workers' cottages, incorporating the space between the buildings.
The practice wanted to shift from the existing strong association with the residence and play with the idea of developing a distinct entrance and organising element around this often neglected interstitial space between buildings. This new inserted piece completely envelops the facade of both buildings and allows their history to be legible.
The office is designed around a variety of meeting places accommodating anything from two people to the whole office. Each place evokes a different experience. These include:
- a two storey high external covered courtyard excavated into rock with a vertical fern wall, opens from a new kitchen in the same location as the original workers' cottage
- a cavernous dark meeting room with walls and ceiling lined with cork/rubber pin-up material
- small tables bathed in winter sun
- a large meeting room built into the old workers cottage living/dining room with a graphic of the brisbane river printed onto plywood pockmarked with projects identiﬁed from the practice’s 126 year history.