Workplace design has been completely re-defined as we move towards a post-pandemic phase of working and The Commons South Yarra, designed by Foolscap Studio, offers an updated vision for what co-working will look like – and feel like – going into the future.

Based in Melbourne, Foolscap Studio is an award-winning interior architecture and design practice focused on creating space that meaningfully contributes to the cultural fabric of a city. With a body of work that spans hospitality, workplace, retail, precinct, and place-making, Foolscap Studio creates experiential designs that relate to people and place.

office design, workplace design, The Commons by Foolscap Studio

The Workplace Design Brief

Foolscap’s design response to The Commons workspace in South Yarra is led by what “you can’t get at home”, with special emphasis on collaborative spaces and social interactions, and amenity that feeds a culture of the community.

“In the past year, we’ve seen the typology of working-from-home emerge in parallel to the office place. For The Commons South Yarra we envisaged a “third space” for working, a place that is less about the hot desk and more about social engagement, separating work from home, and gaining access to specialist facilities,” says Foolscap’s Founding Director, Adèle Winteridge.

office design, workplace design, The Commons by Foolscap Studio

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 uniformity and 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 of the site. Prints designed by Indigenous Australian artist Jimmy Pike are used to upholster and line different surfaces across the environments.

Materialised Product

Jimmy Pike Topography was used in different colours and applications across the floors, with the unique pattern being the unifying element. “It was important to us to use an Australian artist/designer,” says Emily Minchin, Project Lead at Foolscap “and being Indigenous was an added bonus.”

Jimmy Pike Topography Materialised
Jimmy Pike Topography Dust Storm, Steel and Mauve printed on Zircon Ayre

The design was printed onto various substrates for upholstery, lampshades and wall vinyl.

“The Commons South Yarra is a place where you get to choose your own world and revel in constant contrast,” says Adèle.


The Team & Credits

  • Design Team: Adèle Winteridge (Director); Emily Minchin (Project Lead); Kirby Humphries; Akiko Bamba, and Samuel McIntyre of Foolscap Studio
  • Builder: Koble Projects
  • Photography: ©Tatjana Plitt
  • Materialised Team: VIC