Welcome to the space I spend a lot of my life in – my work; Chamberlain Javens Architects (www.cjarch.com.au). Not only is it a beautiful, light filled space, it has a rich soothing palette and a nice happy vibe. This space was originally a refit project for a client. The material of choice was that of plywood with a white wash coating.

Once the client’s lease was complete we were offered the opportunity to move in. We jumped at the chance.

For my peers, who drew up the details of this project, it was like returning home, to somewhere so familiar.

Whilst I could talk about this space for pages (and consequently the designs it encourages and enables), the most interesting mystery for me was the contrasting high and low ceiling. A mystery which has recently been uncovered.

Originally purchased in 1918 by the Pipeclay Club (a branch of the Colonial Defence Force) it became a long standing headquarters for the volunteer group. From my understanding, they took up the entire building (including that of current day Restaraunt/Bar ‘Comme’). Where the story gets interesting, (and the mystery of the ceiling exposed), is the fact that our level was the designated club recreational area. More importantly is the type of recreation, being that of squash! Where I spend my days at my desk was once actually squash courts!

This tiny, (and somewhat obvious now), piece of information suddenly allows the entire space to make sense. Whilst sport is not necessarily ‘my thing’ I can appreciate the design strategies that are in place to facilitate such an activity. The fascinating part then comes; when the sport is rendered obsolete, and a new program can enter and re-appropriate, what design opportunities and potentials can arise?

Whilst I am unable to find any photos of the court (yet), I imagine it may have looked like this...

Photos by Dianna Snape


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