Studio Nine has designed the first Australian studio for global visual effects production company Mill Film. The highly considered studio has been created through the translation of the VFX process using two key design principles ‘modelling and performance’ and ‘light, colour and texture’.
Modelling and performance drove a strict planning structure responding to a clearly articulated workflow. The spatial response to the layout catered both to the client requirements of open vs closed spaces as well as working with the challenging octagonal floor plate of the building. Working, reviewing and socialising spaces were carefully placed to be seamlessly linked while always maintaining appropriate levels of separation.
Light, colour and texture profiles were created for each space type. Monochromatic artist areas work as a passive backdrop to on screen activities, as minimal distractions and visual interference are critical in these areas. The artist areas flow into warm and natural reviewing rooms where colour and material selections were key to providing spaces to review work on screen. Buffered from the artist spaces, the vibrant social spaces provide a colourful contrast to the work zones to socialise, relax and celebrate. Each space hosts a common thread of base materials tying them all together.
The industrial aesthetic was developed to maintain a consistency in built form within the global network of Mill Film studios, while rich Australian timbers and a colour palette of rusts and deep reds introduced a local context.
The project included extensive base building remodelling to meet the operational needs of the work force. Future proofing through a modular and systemised approach allows the team sizes to expand and contract depending on the pressures of their delivery timelines. Multiple production and specialist teams are accommodated across three connected flexible floor plates linked via an internal stair and void. Extensive audio visual equipment was also integrated into a variety of meeting and screening rooms to meet international standards across the organisation.
Building an edgy and industrial experience drove an outcome that celebrated the existing base building elements. Exposed floor and ceiling slabs were simply painted to express the bare bones, while reducing materials and focusing on longevity were the main sustainability targets. The introduction of the interconnecting stair and exposed services were a critical and complex piece of the puzzle, requiring a close and communicative design team to coordinate structure with services and architectural elements – catering to the functional design brief, as well as future proofing for potential growth in connecting to other levels in the future.
The 4,300sqm workplace was designed to cater for 500 people. With five employees when the project started on site, the space was at full capacity within six months of handover. The project has injected a new lease of life into the previously under tenanted CBD building which overlooks the city and Adelaide Oval, and has attracted national and international talent to Adelaide.