2018 Melbourne Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Photo Credit : Peter Clarke Photography



Project Overview

This project is a interior fitout, customised to suit the design requirements of the client. Inspired by the creativity of music, the design of the new space is a respectful representation of the brand's culture, values and history.

The 1,500m2 office is spread over two floors with the first floor welcoming visitors with a statement entrance, referencing Japanese design and the strong historical culture of the brand.

The Japanese aesthetic comes through in both overt and subtle ways, from the material palette of timbers and simple colourways, to the integration of greenery and workstations with solid timber returns. Materials were carefully chosen to highlight the existing concrete shell of the two floors, amplifying the natural characteristics of proposed elements that contrast the stark grey.

Project Commissioner

Yamaha Music Australia

Project Creator



Alla DeLion (Design Director)
Ling Gui (Interior Designer)
Harry Nguyen (Designer)

Project Brief

The client's brief was to have a space that was versatile and allowed for use by not only staff members within the company, but also a space open to the public. It was important to create a sense of comfort within the space, a transformation that would give a sense of retreat whilst being in the work environment.

The key objectives to the design were to incorporate the brand history, with a sense of sophistication that is a representation of the brand. References to the origins of the brand and the outcomes of the company were to be incorporated in the space, giving a sense of cohesion from design to functionality of the space.

The foyer is to serve as an opening statement to the people and identity of the brand. A theatre, sound recording room, and a large stage area were required for functions and audio visual presentations.

Project Innovation/Need

Forms and details of the brand were subtly designed to create a sense of identity that is carried throughout the fitout.

The reception desk, shaped after a guitar pick is a testimonial to the company and what they do, whilst the pattern that has been designed for the staircase balustrade derives from the Japanese pattern Asanoha, where before the introduction of cotton, hemp was one of the primary fibers used for clothing. It has also been used in Shinto ceremonies for its perceived cleansing properties. This historical pattern was used in the form of perforation on metal sheeting, which beside the atrium, allows light to infiltrate through the indentations, creating a feature within the reception of the space.

Design Challenge

One of the main challenges of the project was to source materials that had better acoustic ratings, however, still had a large aesthetic presence. Because the fitout was to be used not only as an office space, but a collaborative space between colleagues and students of music as well.

Events, presentation and music recordings were held at the headquarters, meaning the open areas and certain rooms had to be acoustically treated. This posed a challenge in the instance that natural light was preferred in featured areas, however, the base building glazing was not adequate for the purpose of the space; therefore, additional materials and products had to be used in order to reach the needs of those rooms.


The importance of supporting local manufacturers were taken into consideration when looking for products, as this not only benefits our local industry, but also reduces the carbon footprint of the goods being delivered to site. Use of natural timber with natural stains (that do not date) allowed for ease of upkeep, and future instances where they would have the ability to be sand down and refurbished, changing the whole aesthetic of the space if need be.

The space planning of the project is also sustainable in that the office is particularly flexible and caters to the future growth of the company. Zones that allocated for meeting spaces have a dual function where they can be easily transformed into auditoriums.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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