The art of communication key to new media hub

Published January 28th, 2022

Text by Alexis Kusinski, MKDC. Photographs by Boz Sayers, Osprey Photography

When MKDC Design Consultants were given the task of creating a new workplace for Business News in the heart of Perth’s CBD, it was an opportunity to bring to life a brand new way of working for the respected media company.

Designer Alexis Kusinski worked closely with Buildwell Group and Business News to create a dynamic workplace interior where staff would feel ‘intrinsically connected’.

The move to a new central CBD location – on St Georges Terrace – was embraced by Business News as an opportunity to not only better connect with their clients, but also to implement a new agile workplace strategy for its employees.

Workspaces play a vital role in expanding the opportunity to think, innovate and connect for those who inhabit them. MKDC has made it their business to excel in commercial interior design by putting the wellbeing of humans at the heart of every blueprint.

“We invest greatly in knowing each client and understanding the needs of their people,” said Alexis. “We create spaces for organisations who understand the impact that optimal wellbeing has on individuals, teams and communities – and who see the immense rewards that strategically considered, high-quality interiors can bring.”

As such, it was time to reinvent the traditional media newsroom approach with a new way of thinking.

With an agile workplace strategy and no dedicated work points, the design focused on supporting collaboration, innovation and opportunities for impromptu conversation between team members.

Dispersed over two levels, there was a real desire to encourage communication between teams and the movement of people, energy and information.

A recognition of the highly social nature of collating and gathering news was perhaps best reflected on Level 3, which features a large and open tea prep space, connecting to open workspace areas to both the north and the south. The design brief focussed on maintaining sightlines and the transference of natural light across the entire floorplate.

“This allows for views from St Georges Terrace to the Swan River,” said Alexis. “We exposed services and painted the ceilings Business News blue to anchor the tea prep and introduce an element of fun and colour”.

By understanding the client’s brand, Alexis and her team were able to maximise opportunities to create a strong workspace design narrative; for instance, many corporate visitors come to the Business News HQ, so the client was keen for the space to feel more like a business lounge, with a focus on client hospitality, rather than a traditional corporate media office.

“The design features a fully stocked bar (with a significant curated collection of local WA wines and spirits), a podcast studio with neon signage, exposed ceilings, inset feature rugs, artwork and industrial shelving,” said Alexis.

In short, the space embodies the brand philosophy of Business News and resonates with visitors as a welcoming and vibrant workplace.

The creation of the bar is pivotal to the design and is used as a visitor touchdown and function area, as well as an informal meeting space and publication layout bench.

This duality of purpose also suited the need to create the design in a tight timeframe – there was a strong desire to not overcomplicate the delivery of the brief.

The boardroom is also an impactful space which is more than the sum of its parts.

“Large format sliding doors open into the impressive boardroom and the whole space can be opened up for larger functions,” said Alexis.

As Business News continues to expand into the events space as well as traditional news delivery, the opportunity to entertain and welcome groups of corporate clients was a necessity for the new design, and also provided the chance to reveal some of the ‘magic’ which goes into the publishing process for those new to the industry.

“Removing physical barriers allows for views to the open workplace, so visitors can glimpse the editorial process in action,” said Alexis. “It creates a welcoming and immersive environment.”

The palette selected – subtle, dark hues and a series of textures and a sense of tactility – is complemented by pops of colour, neon signage and stunning feature artwork by local photographers’

On level four, the slab above has been exposed and painted white, giving a sense of volume which helps delineate visitor areas from the workplace.

“We believe the new workplace is a strong declaration of Business News’s commitment to its staff, as well as a place they are proud to share with their clients,” said Alexis