Paper Stone Scissors designed by Russell & George won the Workplace Design Award at the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards.
Turning a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional reality. This was the interpretation of the brief for this graphic design studio, and also serves as a metaphor for the fitout. “Paper” references the subtle peels throughout the fitout, “stone” references the cliff-like stair and entrance foyer, and “scissors” references the cut of three-dimensional Japanese paper art. The existing building was separated into three separate tenancies spread over four levels, all with individual staircases and designed as a celebration of 1980s postmodernism – angles and curves abound. To keep costs down, existing floor levels were retained, a void was opened at the entrance and a new stair was inserted to connect all levels. This stair also provided a strong visual identity. The fitout is full of subtle details that reflect the conceptual direction and contradiction, from the front door handles that roll like a sheet of paper to reveal a white onyx stone inlay that glows at night, to the corner wall peels and their integrated lighting. Spaces are regular, but irregular, like the main stair that cascades through all floors and peels away at the edges. It is solid but ephemeral.
The projects entered in this category represent a range of differing approaches to workplace design, including a refinement of activity-based workplace design and new methods of collective design process. The awarded and commended projects are evidence of how interior design practice is enabling different uses of the urban environment for people to work within. The awarded project by Russell & George is a beautifully executed and thoughtful design, displaying a clear concept that extends from the entry door handle right through to every aspect of the interior form. The interior resolution embraces the spatial volume and confidently deals with the nature of multi-level space. Elements such as the stair form and fractured wall panelling are not overplayed and are thoroughly controlled by the designer’s hand.