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Unispace wins at prestigious 2022 IDEA Awards

New HUGO BOSS HQ awarded an IDEA for workplace design excellence

Unispace has been recognised for design excellence in its creation of an immersive new Melbourne headquarters for premium fashion and lifestyle brand HUGO BOSS. 

Unispace, one of Australia’s leading workplace strategy, design and construction firms, has taken out the Workplace Design Under 1,000sqm category at the prestigious 2022 IDEA Awards, from 29 shortlisted finalists. It is the latest in a string of accolades for the impressive HUGO BOSS project

The IDEA Awards program is Australia’s largest and most successful independent design awards program. The program has been growing steadily each year, and now attracts hundreds of entries from practices and designers from across the country. 

Judges said the HUGO BOSS workplace delivered “a distinct and immersive connection” to the brand, with a design “dominated by its strong visual identity executed through considered materiality and detailing, and generous opportunities for retail-style merchandising displays”.

 “The result fuses retail and workplace – keeping the environment fresh and relevant to showcase each collection," the judges said. 

Unispace’s Design leads on the project, Julie Watts and Paige Horton, said the IDEA Awards were a prestigious design industry program, with the selection committee comprising past award winners and highly regarded designers within the industry. 

“We are truly honoured to be selected for this award against some of the best designers in the country,” Ms Watts said. “For Unispace, this industry acknowledgement is invaluable for not only getting our name out there but recognising publicly the incredible design talent we have within our firm. 

“The HUGO BOSS project was a true collaboration with our client and was very customised; it does not follow current design trends, which makes it stand out from the crowd. The use of bold primary colours, reflective materials, and simple architecture accentuated HUGO BOSS’ products and helped draw the eye back to the brand. It’s a small space, so all areas had to work hard always to provide multiple functions and ensure they connected to the brand.”  

HUGO BOSS’ brief was for a unique Melbourne headquarters that reflected its recently refreshed global brand.  

“The challenge of the project was to bring HUGO BOSS’ creative vision to life, while also meeting their functional objectives,” Ms Watts said. “HUGO BOSS was seeking a new office that was multi-functional, somewhere they could host branded events, display their collections, and even hold fittings.  

“The layout we created ensured the HUGO BOSS team could have everything they needed in the space, including a training space, an area for visual merchandising, somewhere to host fashion showcases, and most importantly, an office where employees are empowered to do their best work.” 

But the project wasn’t without its logistical challenges. When the original site fell through, it was crucial that Unispace could pivot and create a new design to make the most of the newly secured lease in a new build within the creative hub of Cremorne.  

Working collaboratively with the HUGO BOSS design team and Whill Design, Unispace took full advantage of the newly constructed building, leveraging the existing blank canvas. Construction kicked off at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Melbourne.  

HUGO BOSS’ new premises embodies a bold colour palette, offset by polished concrete floors, which creates a dramatic reception area that can also be used as an event space.  

Modern furniture, bespoke artworks, campaign photography and carefully chosen sculptures immerse employees and visitors in the brand experience, connecting them to the company and the brand’s mission. A bespoke marble kitchen creates a chic space for employees and clients to connect, while workstations are integrated throughout the space to maximize focus and collaboration. Finally, reflective surfaces are cleverly positioned to give the space more depth, making it appear larger while also providing a backdrop for fashion previews and fittings.   

“The project presented a unique opportunity to create a fully immersive brand experience,” Ms Watts said. “With a host of high-end furniture, fittings and finishes at the client’s fingertips, we collaborated with HUGO BOSS’ design team to curate a collection of their existing furniture pieces to suit the new space. Up to 80% of the furniture was repurposed, contributing towards a more sustainably considered project.” 

The resulting space is unmistakably HUGO BOSS, customized to suit their team and support their varied functions. 

The prestigious IDEA Award is the latest in a string of impressive industry recognition for Unispace’s work on the HUGO BOSS Melbourne headquarters.  

The fast-growing company has also been presented with several other awards this year for the HUGO BOSS project including silver in the 2022 Better Future Design Awards (Melbourne), bronze in the Designers Institute of NZ’s Best Awards (2022) and a finalist in the 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards. 

IDEA trophy