The Western District Employment Access project is a new build located in Warrnambool, South West Victoria. Completed in 2013 it is a two-storey building housing the head office of Western District Employment Access (WDEA).
WDEA provides a wide range of community services to South West Victoria. These include employment services and the provision of job skill programmes. They also assist people with disabilities through a range of business enterprises, including supported environments for people to develop their job skills. WDEA also provides community support services, for those with high support needs by providing lifestyle and recreation skills.
The building was designed by Warrnambool based Architectural Designers, Designers by Nature – Dean Picken Designs, with interior design provided in-house by Annmaree Kane.
The project has taken over two years to complete and has resulted in a fresh and inspiring environment, allowing all the Warrnambool based staff to be located under the same roof. The new building provides a welcoming environment for WDEA’s visitors, featuring polished concrete in the reception area and exposed concrete tilt slabs throughout, giving a soft industrial feel.
The interior layout is a combination of open plan and offices, a boardroom and training rooms along with a suite of private interview rooms. Staff have been provided with a light bright, fully equipped kitchen/staff area complete with mobile bar unit and outdoor balcony. Incorporating a number of ESD features to ensure energy and water efficiency, the interior of the building features the use of products low in VOCs and other harmful toxins wherever possible.
The colour scheme of the interior reflects the colours of WDEA’s logo and corporate branding. A fresh green and slightly burnt orange were added to the blue and grey of the original WDEA branding and represent the various arms of the WDEA business - Employment, Enterprise and Community.
The palette of Resene colours is based on a range of subtle greys, Resene Sea Fog, Resene Concrete and Resene Triple Concrete punctuated by the use of Resene Lure, Resene Chameleon and Resene Hazard as feature walls and white ceilings.
Resene Sea Fog
Resene Triple Concrete
The feature colours are also represented throughout the building in joinery, upholstery, glazing film and screen fabrics. The boardroom uses a more subdued Resene Triple Concrete feature wall allowing the custom made timber boardroom table to be the feature of the space. A variety of Resene products have been used across this project – Resene SpaceCote, Resene Lustacryl and Resene Ceiling Paint depending on the substrate and use of each area. It was important to the designer and client the products used were low in VOC with certified green credentials, so Resene Environmental Choice approved paints were an obvious choice.
Resene paints were relatively unknown to the public and contractors in South West Victoria, with a local Warrnambool paint supplier only recently offering Resene products. As the designer had extensively specified Resene paint in New Zealand it was important to her that this project was able to showcase not only colours from the Resene range but utilise the Resene products she had confidently specified for a number of years.
Architectural specifier: Designers By Nature - Dean Picken Designs
Building contractor: Fairbrother Pty Ltd Warrnambool Office
Client: Western District Employment Access (WDEA)
Electrical, hydraulic, mechanical fit-out design: Greenleaf Engineers
Furniture supply and interior partitioning: Aspect Commercial Interiors Stawell
Graphic designers - design of film images: O2 Media
Interior designer: Annmaree Kane
Joinery: SW Kitchens
Painting contractor: Dorian Painting Contractors Pty Ltd
Photographer: Trevor Pendock
Structural engineering: Be Collective