2012 Melbourne Design Awards

Key Dates

Photo Credit : Copyright Dianna Snape

Project Overview

Designed to draw inspiration from a local icon, the Eureka tower, the reception and boardroom of Legalsuper aims to create a subtle dialogue between the urban context and the interior.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

Ryan Russell for Russell & George


Ryan Russell - Director / Designer
Emily Shannon
Brigette Cameron

Project Brief

As Legalsuper’s business is to represent their superannuation fund members, drawing inspiration and connecting to a broader context seemed apt. A small project, the design aims to be bigger than itself and it is hoped that this connection to the broader urban environment achieves this.

Project Innovation / Need

A simple pattern found on the Eureka tower was abstracted and shifted to create a connection to the exterior. White and mirrored graphic components were carefully composed to create a strong, dynamic and shifting series of interior surfaces that alter depending on the position of the viewer within the spatial experience.
This strong and dynamic relationship was also designed to reflect Legalsuper’s brand values and echo its relationship to its members. The overall result is an interior that is uniquely graphic in its appearance but creates an ambiance of motion, strength and dynamism.

Design Challenge

The overall detailing strategy is one of simplicity and strength. Most detail has been applied via graphic application in solid white and mirrored metallics. These elements are not only decorative but also create privacy where required.

Folded powder coated metal sheets in the reception double as creating an anchor within the space, echoing the solidity and assuredness of the external context as well as providing a series of light shelves and areas for trade literature to be positioned.

Black cork flooring has been used in corridor spaces to create a transitional break between reception and meeting rooms.

Most furniture was inherited from the client however in the lounge area a simple selection of furniture accented by a Cherner chair, and in the boardroom a vintage lamp were added for their sculptural qualities and natural hue of timber and warmth of light.


The sustainable merits of Legalsuper are essentially in the reuse of existing components. Most furniture was existing, most interior walls and floors were intact. It is sustainable due to subtlety and lack of intervention.

The design of Legalsuper utilises responsibly harvested timber resources and reduces the use of building materials containing VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Most elements, if new, were prefabricated and waste was kept to a minimum through the addition of effective folding and cutting schedules included in the drawing documentation based on available standard sheet sizes.

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