nettletontribe Brisbane studio


nettletontribe’s new Brisbane studio reinvigorates and repurposes a 100+ year old brick merchant bulk store, originally designed by Chambers and Powell in 1913. The building was previously occupied by the Little Tokyo restaurant for over 40+ years before being adapted as a shared workspace in 2014. In 2019, nettletontribe identified the opportunity to relocate and commenced the process of transforming the previously rundown space into a modern working environment suitable to house the nettletontribe’s Brisbane design studio.

The original timber truss ceiling structure was revealed, while the original brick walls were cleaned to expose the heritage glazed brickwork. Set over two levels on a sloping site a new stair and skylight was inserted into the space to create a visual connection between the work zones. The skylight allows natural light to penetrate deep into the internal space. Large openings were cut into the external brickwork with bespoke steel framed lintels designed to support the heritage brick facade.

There were no existing heritage constraints placed on the building, however given the architectural pedigree and the social history of the place the design sought to retain and celebrate the original building fabric.

The open plan studio was designed to create numerous flexible working zones, with meeting spaces designed for casual inter-team communication or structured formal discussions. In keeping with nettletontribe’s human centric design focus and community-oriented culture, the design celebrates work as a place beyond the “9 to 5” and offers staff spaces for varied work styles. The design places an emphasis on staff comfort and interaction to improve and cultivate social sustainability. The refurbishment celebrates the existing fabric to provide a collaborative studio, using a fresh way of thinking about how people engage in the workplace environment, and placing emphasis on staff interaction and wellbeing.

Photography by Erika Kunde.