The Commons South Yarra

Serious Fun, At Work

The Commons
South Yarra
Tatjana Plitt

Shortlisted, AIDA Awards 2022, Workplace Design
Shortlisted, IDEA Awards 2022, Workplace Over 1000 sqm
Longlisted, Dezeen Awards 2022, Large Workplace Design
Winner/Bronze, Best Awards 2022, Colour Award Spatial
Finalist, Dulux Colour Awards 2022, Commercial Interior – Workplace
Award of Merit, Designers Australia Awards 2022, Place Category

Making ‘Serious Fun’ At Work

As we band together and continue to move towards a post-pandemic phase of working, The Commons South Yarra offers an updated vision for what co-working will look like – and feel like – going into the future. In developing the design for this new location, we posed the questions: What will tomorrow’s workplace look like? What motivates us to come into the office, when we can do it all from home?

Our design response was guided by what “you can’t get at home”, with special emphasis on collaborative spaces and social interactions, and amenity that feeds a culture of community.

Serious Fun

We applied a disruptive grid to develop the design concept around “serious fun”. Linear and modular workspaces are broken up by sculptural and fluid break-out zones and fun, engaging elements. A custom staircase offers vertical connectivity, linking the community across the building and drawing people up into the common break-out spaces on the upper levels.

Bringing synergy to the syncopated floor plate is the materials palette, which shifts in colour, tone and texture as you move up through the four levels. Prints designed by Indigenous Australian artist Jimmy Pike are used to upholster and line different surfaces across the environments.

Amenity With Added Value

At the heart of every successful co-working environment is its facilities and amenity. For The Commons South Yarra, we took this one step further, imagining a series of serviceable zones that cater to group and individual needs in a joyous yet highly multi-functional manner. The Commons’ standard facilities have been augmented to include the Makers Space, a fully functioning workshop for those hands-on jobs that involve tasks such as laser cutting, 3D printing, arts and crafts and more.

A Sensory Room offers patrons time to disengage, meditate or even practise yoga. Contributing to the hushed sense of calm and clarity is a minimal materials palette, curtain-lined walls, the ambient glow of concealed lighting and passive air circulation. Other amenities include a multimedia podcast studio, photography spaces and parents room.

Bringing People Together

At the heart of The Commons South Yarra is its kitchens and dining zone, a vibrant, active and highly hospitable space. Channelling that element of fun, we fashioned this space to feel slightly industrial, casual in its non-refinement, and suffused in uplifting natural light. Feeding that sense of “serious fun” is the Conversation Pit, a sunken plush lounge built into the space. Modular elements make it flexible to different uses and ideal for collaborative catch-ups.

Press –

Indesign Live 
Frame Magazine

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