Alexandria, in Sydney’s east, is now a drawcard for many creative industries. However, 10 years ago, this light industrial area was simply that, with most dismissing the neighbourhood as a suitable office environment. But Coates Signage had the vision to purchase a large 1980s warehouse, approximately 1,200 square metres in area, which is now the company’s global headquarters.
Stage 1 saw the addition of a simple glazed wall office and showroom. Extending over three levels, the glazed façade, with its steel portal frame and compressed fibro cement panels, remains timeless. A graphic steel staircase permeates the void, the latter being a reminder of when large physical signs were displayed in the space for the benefit of customers. And in contrast to the modernist façade, the open plan studio at the top level features a soar tooth roof with southern highlight windows that allow for an even and controlled light.
With generous workspaces and a boardroom that connects to a balcony, it’s the type of work environment that continues to attract creatives who once wouldn’t step out of suburbs such as Surry Hills. And to diffuse the harsh afternoon western light, there are operable stainless-steel louvres/blades that stand proud of the generous glazed walls framing the offices.