Zing PR

From INDESIGN #22 : This is a building which wears its history on its sleeve and brings new meaning to the term 'adaptive re-use'. Located in Surry Hills, it celebrates the raffish history of its neighbourhood on its facade, while reflecting the gentrification of the area on the inside. The former warehouse is now home to a largely female PR company, Zing. Architect Rolf Ockert, has left the tatty pink facade untouched, allowing the building's history to reveal itself through the layering of paint and graphics. He has inserted an aluminium Webforge security grate at the entry with grated steps and two large windows looking out from what is now the boardroom screened by operable Luxalon aluminium louvres. All this gives the building a gritty industrial character which belies a softer, more 'feminine' palette inside - although, fortuitously, the pink telegraphs the company logo. This is picked up in the entry stairway with its pink feature wall and porthole display windows showing products promoted by Zing. If the façade is a layered history of the building, the journey through the building is an understated journey through Modernism - from the raw industrial façade, past the porthole windows, through the glass doors to an interior of refined modernist elements of gentle textures and secondary tones, culminating in the CEO's desk screen representing the sophisticated end point of the industrial journey begun on the outside of the building. Effectively, Ockert has set up a conversation about Modernism, which is extended by the contrast between the industrial introduction to the building and the 'feminised' reception area where the curvaceous desk picks up on the art deco porthole display windows and the pink is extended by John Nicholson's perspex art works. The elegant boardroom has exploited what was previously a ramp to create a room elevated above the street to provide intriguing views down on to the perpetual motion of the Surry Hills streetscape.

Photos by Rolf Ockert; Architect.