Lyons Architecture Office

Lyons Architecture Office by NMBW Architecture Studio won the National Commendation for Sustainable Architecture at the AIA's 2010 National Architecture Awards.

Lyons commissioned NMBW for a fitout with an essential brief of low energy and resource use combined with the fundamental requirement of a pleasant work environment. With a movement toward A grade office accommodation over the last ten years, such a brief contrasts with the strict tenancy lease arrangements that accompany commercial property.

Responding to the Lyons office philosophy, the architects adopted a less-is-more attitude. They stripped the floor plate of unnecessary decor, exposing raw structure and working with existing conditions to explore potential. Services are exposed, space remains accessible, structure is sealed but not painted, finishes are only applied where necessary. There is a philosophical and physical elimination of waste.

The architects developed a standard set of details that could be appropriated throughout the project and selected economic and durable materials. In general the aesthetic is raw and direct with equitable access to resources, i.e. light, food preparation, meeting rooms and desks, data, printing and principals.

Employees are encouraged to ride to and store bikes at work and the office employs a chef once a week for a large sit-down meal. The generous open-plan studio reflects a strong social agenda, which equally contributes to the sustainable value of this office fitout.

– Jury citation

Products and materials

Walls and ceilings
C–D grade structural plywood linings. Woven Image Ecopanel pinboard surfaces. Aluminium cladding.
Windows and doors
KDHW stud framing. Lidi custom external blinds. Henderson sliding door tracks and fitting. Sikkens Cetol HLS Ebony stain. Reclaimed Lockwood door furniture.
Ontera recycled carpet tiles.
Superlux Equipose clamp-on desk lamps. Zumtobel Miral strip lighting. ECC Parallel spot lighting.
Custom-designed tables, joinery and bicyle racks by NMBW. Laminex kitchen benchtops. Loose furniture, mobile light fittings and artwork by Carey Lyon and Corbett Lyon.


NMBW Architecture Studio
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Nigel Bertram, Marika Neustupny, Lucinda McLean, Ralf Rehak,
Builder Masbuild (Australia) Pty ltd
Building surveyor PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants
Commissioned artwork Louise Forthun
Electrical contractor MPE Services
Services engineer Murchie Consulting
Structural engineer Perrett Simpson
Site Details
Location Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Interiors
Type Workplace
Project Details
Status Built
Client Lyons


Awarded Project

Published online: 1 Jul 2011
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2010
Images: Peter Bennetts


Architecture Australia, November 2010

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