Not new is the new-new


  • KHID and Egans Asset Management in Collaboration


The Wise Office Furniture “not new office fit-out”

The Wise Office Furniture “not new office fit-out” was constructed and furnished using only building material salvaged from commercial demolition sites and not new furniture. The challenge made the designer, client and builder think about the environmental impact of the materials used in commercial fit-out projects. Being restricted to material that was available at the time meant that every aspect of the project had to be flexible and responsive. Achieving a remarkable design outcome became a fabulous challenge.

Key Features


The not new material challenge.

Once the design outcomes were determined, suitable material and furniture was selected from current stock. Building materials used in the project were left exposed to celebrate it’s previous life. The server-room was created using the lighting grid inserts from BHP head-quarters which were built into an extended framework from a Haworth workstation system salvaged from St Kilda Road. Like-wise salvaged LVL beams were left exposed as the glazing frames to the meeting room.


A design celebration with nothing new.

The stripped back brickwork and the unfinished high ceilings created a fabulous backdrop to honour the design intent that was created at the beginning of the project. There are 3 major design elements where the salvaged material has been exposed as a design feature, a server-room, a staircase cover and a glazed wall. Coupled with a carefully curated catalogue of classic C20 designer furniture and artworks the space is collaborative and inviting. The fact that nothing is new demonstrates what can be achieved by thinking creatively.


The circular economy and product stewardship

The use of classic modern furniture designs encourages the use of well selected not new FF&E in new built projects. The negative environmental impact of the commercial built environment is well documented, particularly with regard to the demolition of office fit-outs. It is often the case that the material and furnishings are highly specified and very good quality, therefore an effective demonstration that not new furniture can achieve high quality design outcomes can only be a transformative outcome. Encouraging the circular economy and effective end of life strategies is good for the environment.


Products designed for the natural environment.

Greening an industrial site with salvaged material required some considerable thought. The desired outcome was achieved by modifying commercial extraction ducting salvaged from Camberwell market into very large tree pots. This provides a much-needed green space around two converted 40’containers that were used as the crew room. The planting project uses intermediate bulk containers to ferry captured run-off water to the trees to ensure they survive the harsh summer environment created by a concrete industrial yard.


Not new is the new-new

This collaborative project by KHID and the Wise-Office-Furniture-Program proves that outstanding design outcomes can be achieved with full consideration being given to the impact our activity has on the natural environment. By sourcing material from the demolition and second-hand industry rather than a glossy product catalogue the project generates a depth of affinity with the staff and visitors to the site and encourages alternative approaches to complex problems. Achieving sustainable outcomes beyond the usual by applying creative thinking.

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