Future Workplace – YM Studio

The simple notion of designers and public coming together, sharing experience and knowledge within each other played a key role in determining the design of interior architecture firm. It attempts to help public visitors understand what interior architecture means and break down the barriers between the office space and public/clients.  This project is a combination of workspace and public park, café and gallery, it creates a new social place in the industrial surrounding of Dundee’s West End.

The site of Edward’s St. Mill is located in the heart of past industrial part of Dundee. It is an A-listed historical building. The three storey Engine house was built in 1895 as a part of Edward’s Street Mill – the oldest completed pre-1860’s power loom linen and jute weaving factory in Dundee. Nowadays it is home to Verdant Spirit, a company producing the only gin distilled in Dundee. Except the Engine house there are two other buildings; a two-storey distillery house and one storey storage space surrounded by an asphalted courtyard with a ramp leading to the gate. The site represents traditional Dundee’s industrial architecture – a combination of sand-stone facades and slate roof tiles.

Edward’s Street Mill was built after the Industrial revolution, that’s why the concept of the building is not suitable for today’s workplace. Frank Duffy shows in his book The New Office on the theory of the Nest, the Hive, the Cell and the Clun the change of the workplace design throughout the years. Not only him but also BCO thinks that the future workspace will be more and more about sharing, communication, interaction and teamwork.

The YM Studio design creates a community of public, allowing people to work on projects and to be a part of the design process by getting feedback on the company’s designs and testing their prototypes. Gallery and café represents an open identity of the company and combination of social life and workspace in one site, helping the colleagues to know better each other. It also creates new opportunity for meeting the clients in an informal environment. The project takes inspiration from the MAT architecture office  design in Beijing where they created a flexible coworking space in postindustrial building and used bright colours as navigators through the entire space. The idea of staff socializing came from design of Wood Bagot’s architecture firm studio which organised their office to promote collaboration and interaction. Linehouse’s Herschel Office in Shanghai was not only inspiring by the used material like stainless steel sheets but also by the deconstruction of private and public sphere.

The new design is combined of 4 different buildings. The Engine house represents the history of the place and contains a presentation room and storage of material examples and old projects. It is the only part of the site which was externally preserved and redesigned inside. It is connected through the corridor with the two-storey Workspace house which has been organised to promote collaboration, socializing and provides space for almost 30 designers. The open workspace on the first floor with the teamwork space and relax space on the ground floor represents the ideal space for every day interaction between the colleagues. The Workspace’s old sand-stone masonry walls were preserved but a new light polycarbonate frame roof was added in contrast to the old walls. All the other buildings were newly constructed from light materials, using channel glass system, glass blocks, concrete and steel. A bright yellow corridor was designed in the contrast of the heavy grey surrounding. It runs throughout the entire site and it is providing a strong visual guidance and connection of all the buildings of Edward’s St. Mill design. This yellow element is the origin of the company name and identity and represents the visual break through barriers between the public and the firm. Yellow represents a new structure and a new opening in the universal architecture language and as an optimistic, energetic and positive colour. It symbolizes a new beginning of the Edward’s Street Mill.