Smart Design Studio

Smart Design Studio

Smart Design Studio comprises the adaptive reuse of a Post-War single storey industrial warehouse, into commercial and residential uses across a 3624 square metres site. The project is situated within the North Alexandria Industrial Heritage Conservation Area, which forms part of one of the largest known collections of industrial and warehouse buildings of its kind in Australia. The retention and adaptation of the existing building was therefore the springboard for this innovative project.

Most of the original building fabric was retained and restored, including brick facades, sawtooth roofs and steel roof trusses. The heavily modified offices along the western frontage were demolished and rebuilt to suit new functional requirements. New construction employs similar industrial materials however these elements are all elevated in their expression and detailing. The key innovation was to transform an existing warehouse into a carbon neutral building, targeting a six-star NABERS energy rating.

This started with the premise to retain over 80 per cent of the existing footprint, minimising material supply and wastage.

Sustainability features include 260 roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels with battery storage, creating an energy positive building. Air-conditioning is replaced with natural ventilation, coupled with radiant hydronic underfloor heating and cooling and ceiling fans. Rainwater is harvested for reuse, and water-efficient fixtures and building automation ensure energy efficiency. Materials were selected for their embodied energy, harm to the environment and reuse opportunities.

Photography by Romello Pereira, David Hutton (drone with solar panels).


Furniture: Space (B & B, Cassina, Max Alto and Arflex), Fanuli (Flexform and Kristalia), Living Edge (Herman Miller, Poliform). Lighting: VBO Australia (Viabizzuno), Dedece (Davide Groppi), Koda (Vibia, Erco, Boaz). Finishes: Bowral Bricks (Bowral 76), Artedomus (Antilia), Ocean & Merchant (Cassata Stone) Terrazzo Australian Marble (Custom terrazzo, Corian, Kvadrat Maharam). Fittings & Fixtures: Vola (Candana), Pure Interiors (CEA, Parisi, Boffi, Gaggenau, Smeg).