The interiors of the family office of this Australian philanthropic organisation were inspired by the rural Queensland town of Cambooya, where the family patriarch, Vincent Fairfax, was born.

Known as Cambooya, the family office of The Vincent Fairfax Foundation was designed to be humble and functional for both family and foundation. A space designed for both the operational aspects of the Vincent Fairfax Foundation and members of the Fairfax family to work, meet and gather.

Timeless, professional and approachable, the project’s beauty lies in the detailing and natural materiality. Cambooya designed to be a space of storytelling and a physical expression of the values and origins of the family. Vistas of the Botanic Gardens and the spectacular Sydney Harbour can be seen from a large portion of the floor, creating the ultimate natural back drop for Cambooya’s rurally inspired humble home.

The design is a warm, welcoming embrace with a mix of refined and rural. With a high level of functionality and flexibility in a compact environment, each area of the floor plate was maximised for purpose. Cambooya is a space that is highly considered and connected. Every material was deliberate in its selection and execution, and every aspect had to have complete flexibility and functionality.

An overall workplace design that is far from corporate with its balanced and harmonious application of finishes and textures blurring the lines between hospitality and residential design making this family-owned office one to remember.

The brief

The client brief was to create a space that was humble, refined and timeless. The space had to be efficient, multi-functional and allow for business operations and to also play host to events for the foundation charities.

Cambooya houses the finance arm devoted to the charitable work for the Vincent Fairfax Foundation. It is also acts as a private, secure space where the Fairfax family members can drop in work, meet and relax and have functions.

Siren’s design response was to use a modern Australian palette throughout the space, reflecting the rural history and legacy of the town of Cambooya itself.

Despite being a corporate fit-out, the space has a very residential feel – almost like walking into a beautiful penthouse rather than a corporate office.

The space is highly considered and connected. Every material was deliberate in its selection and execution. All spaces are connected in major design elements and materials but also minute joinery detailing. The design is efficient and multi-purpose to answer the requirements of both the family and the business. It exhibits a high level of functionality in a compact space with hidden storage and every square metre maximised for purpose.

Flexibility for functions and events was also paramount – and as such, the boardroom opens up to a central breakout allowing the sweeping harbour views to take pride of place. Connection between reception and breakout are also enabled through mesh screens which provide security, whilst allowing the heart of the office to be seen.

The brief required a secure, yet connected reception, meeting spaces, a flexible boardroom capitalising on the beautiful views of the harbour and botanical gardens. In addition, it required a large flexible breakout area, hotel-style amenities and ABW style workspace for 30 plus people.

A challenge in space planning

At a tight 515sqm, space planning had to be very efficient, the fit-out is compact, yet had to accommodate many functions, and as a result, every metre of space is utilised for storage – often in multifunctional ways.

The greatest challenge of this project was to hit the functional brief, whilst getting the space planning spot on. The key to the success of Cambooya was the level of detailing and coordination between Siren Design and the builders, FDC to realise a sophisticated and coherent design where every element, no matter how small, was considered. The visual connection of the spaces allows for a seamless flow of spaces. The detailing is impeccable and connects all spaces on a micro level.

This level of detail extended to the impeccable styling – taking this fit-out to the next level for workplace design. The resulting design created a designated private and functional sanctuary for the family members to work relax and meet. The result is an approachable, welcoming, yet refined high-end space that the family enjoy.

Project: Cambooya
Location: Australia
Size: 550 sqm
Service: Design Consultancy
Design Studio: Siren Design
Photo Credits: Nicole England
Website: sirendesign.com.au