Zouk Architects Embrace Material Reuse in their Open-Plan Sydney Practice

We found opportunities in waste during a recent redesign of our new open-plan office. By making the unwanted wanted, ‘waste’ materials have become an integral part of the design of our new premise.

Having found a number of tubing from left over printing rolls when packing up, we decided to put the materials to use as feature wall in our new office, it is both a striking visual component and functional semi-private meeting room has been added to the otherwise open-plan space. The tubing is also put to use elsewhere, forming the base of the meeting table, its surrounding seating, and, in the most traditional application, storage for rolled drawings. Smaller sections of cardboard tubing have also been filled with scrap paper and used as sun shades on Western facing window.

We also source more paper tubing from local printing companies*, *Copy World and Technoprint who happily handed over the unwanted byproducts.

Sample materials, previously hidden away in the practice’s library, are also used prominently in the new premise. Rather than fitting a new kitchenette splashback, tile samples from Skheme tiles are upcycled, as
a functional sample board. Paint and fabric samples introduce a splash of colour to an office wall, and carpet samples from Whitecliffe Carpet add a much-needed element of comfort to the cardboard tubing seating, transforming it into a vibrant and functional**elements in the meeting room

One of the few empty walls in the office coated with Baresque Idea paint, which turns this surface into what we refer to as our ‘brainstorming space’.

Creative use of recycled and affordable materials has allowed Zouk Architects to create an interesting open-plan space at minimal expense. While walls of cardboard tubing and plywood shelving don’t allow the privacy of more traditional construction methods, the resulting visual impact demonstrates an experimental yet focused approach to use of space that explores the restrictions of space and budget.

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