Breville is an iconic Australian company. Founded on Melbourne Cup Day in 1932, it’s now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and develops and distributes small kitchen appliances not only within Australia but across the globe, selling its products in over 50 countries.
For the past 18 years, the company headquarters was located in Botany, Sydney. However, despite a strong attachment to the area, they had to acknowledge that they’d completely outgrow their building. As a result, they chose to relocate to Alexandria, which, as the company’s general manager Mark O’Kelly said “allowed the business to group teams for more effective communication and workflow, as well as providing space for growth.”
The design of the new headquarters was provided by Arnold Lane, a Sydney-based boutique interior design office. The building work was carried out by FDC Construction & Fitout. A wide range of fit-out materials were supplied by Criterion Industries.
The project involved the remodelling of two floors of an existing building at 4,300sqm altogether. Because Breville design, develop and prototype their products within Australia (something that’s becoming increasingly unusual), the company required the space to house not just office workers, but showrooms, test kitchens, engineering and also their R&D division together under the same roof. Despite the ambitious scale of the project, it was completed in 16 weeks, and all parties delivered a result that met the overall requirement – “to create a new corporate home that staff could be proud of... that correlated with the brand’s market identity and corporate values”.
The corporate values Breville wanted to embody in the design are: simplicity, excellence, creativity, insight, and a ‘food thinking’ ethos. Right away, the viewer is struck by the clean, modern colour palette used throughout the fit-out – black, white and silver-grey. This not only provides a sense of order and hygienic simplicity, but also reflects Breville products themselves, which are prominently displayed on shelves throughout the building. A more overt reference to a particularly iconic product, the Jaffle maker, can be found in sculptural tiles that recreate the appliance’s distinctive patterning on a much larger scale. These tiles can be found on feature walls throughout the space, providing a strong brand identity and a unified theme.
“Food thinking” is promoted throughout the building with the distribution of open, communal food preparation areas close to key client and staff areas. This ensures that the making and presentation of food – a daily requirement for all of us – permeates the operations of the company. In addition, showrooms are made to resemble a home environment so appliances can be used and demonstrated in their natural setting. A further design innovation is shown in the flexibility of the space itself – showrooms and food prep areas have been designed with mobility in mind, allowing them to be quickly converted into seminar and function spaces.
However, one of the greatest innovations in the design is one that acknowledges and makes use of such a diverse range of staff under one roof. Test kitchens, engineering areas and office spaces are gathered together into brand categories and connected by “cat walks”, allowing for a range of different specialists – designers, engineers and food technicians – to work together during product development. This kind of mixing encourages innovative ideas, increases company productivity and also builds a sense of belonging.
Modern, clean, functional and strongly expressive of its company’s brand identity, Breville’s new headquarters have more than met their design brief. Criterion was more than pleased to contribute to the end result, supplying the following products:
These fit-out materials helped to produce the overall sleek, modern look with their slim, flat design and powder-coated finish. To find out more about these products, or to get in touch with us, click here.