Egon Zehnder is a global executive search firm driven by research, rigour and practical experience. IF Architecture’s outcome for Egon Zehnder Melbourne delivers a design typology founding Egon Zehnder’s brand personality in built form. Master planning, architectural design, interior design and styling have culminated to create a quietly sophisticated space that services the unique demands of Egon Zehnder. Developed for worldwide application, this design typology is sensitive to cultural variations, building types and operational requirements.
Use of a warm timber veneer exposing rich growth rings represents Egon Zehnder’s growth and development, spanning over decades and across multiple continents. Applied in the lobby through a series of arches representing branches, the circular nature of the design expresses an arc connecting past and future growth. A whimsical fusion of old and new contexts translates through traditional moulded timber panels as a rich backdrop for contemporary design features.
The floor plan invites a sense of discretion for candidates and executives. Staff offices also allow an overlap of private and public interaction, with breakout spaces showcasing sweeping views across the Yarra River and Dandenong Ranges. Australian-made products furnish the interiors, alongside upcycled Eero Saarinen furniture circa 1960. Trust, confidentiality and respect are at the heart of architectural considerations; formal and informal settings, public and private spaces embrace the diverse requirements of clients and staff alike.
Glen Iris, Melbourne
Residential addition & renovation
Photography by Andrew Johnson
Our clients at Brandon Street, Glen Iris requested a contemporary residential renovation of their traditional, post-war home. As a young family with modern needs, our clients sort a conversion from their tight, traditional living spaces to open plan kitchen and living areas, along with a facelift to the original areas of their home.
IF Architecture’s response embraces the traditional characteristics of the home through an elegant, modern design approach. The design for the extension is based on the diamond patterning found on the existing front door. The cladding applied in diamond forms creates a bold statement, inviting a break from the traditional. The entire floor plan of the home was reconfigured to introduce new kitchen, living, bathroom and laundry areas, with renovations to the formal lounge, bedrooms and ensuites at the front of the home. A modern kitchen design incorporating appliance cupboards and study nook faces an open plan living area, with timber floors stained to match the original flooring of the home. Patterned feature tiles in the bathrooms add value beyond budget, while the contemporary colour scheme, furniture selection, décor and styling enhance the original features of the home.
Decor & Styling
Photography by Ward Roberts
Our clients at Hastings Street, Hawthorn sought an interior fit-out of their existing Edwardian residence. An old, cramped kitchen and living area together with insufficient storage spaces prompted the need for a new kitchen area, multi-purpose office space and a reconfiguration of the original floor plan. The brief expressed a need for a clutter free environment that maximised on storage, with modern styling that respected original aspects of the residence.
Alterations to the original floor plan open up the kitchen, living and dining areas, introducing lush garden views from these everyday living spaces. A modern kitchen with custom joinery removes all clutter from sight, enabling the kitchen to function when required, or present as free from clutter when not in use. A joinery unit and bench seat stretching the length of the kitchen, living and dining areas maximises on everyday space for the family, while utilising available room for display and storage. The introduction of glass doors separates the original part of the house from the refurbished area, while the styling, décor and furniture selection reflect the colours and tones of the feature lead light surround on entry.
St. Kilda, Melbourne
Photography by Andrew Johnson
Il Fornaio is a successful, well established café located at the Prince of Wales complex in St Kilda, Melbourne. Our clients sought a new fit-out of the premises that would enable the display of produce, increase visibility for pedestrian traffic and maximise seating arrangements within the space. IF Architecture’s response focussed on the traditional meaning of ‘Il Fornaio’ the baker and the breadbasket aesthetic, introducing a warm and tactile feel to the interior.
The previous fit-out was pared back to restore the building’s minimalist concrete qualities. The interior space was reconfigured to introduce an efficient table layout styled with woven banquettes, basket woven chairs and wooden 'milk' stools. New custom espresso benches face the outdoor seating area, where a purely functional balustrade was transformed into a bench for additional seating. Feature shelving, glass bottle and cake displays are positioned within street view alongside white neon signage to encourage engagement from passers by, day or night. The fit-out achieves a communal feel with additional spaces to increase patronage and showcase the café’s quality produce.
Jardan Brisbane is the company’s first retail showroom. As a fit-out within an existing warehouse space, the brief required an approach to interiors that would allow the company’s furniture, accessories and soft furnishing to shine, with a focus on relatable, accessible spaces for direct to public sales.
Our design response captures Australian timber house frames under construction; a white internal post and beam represent the classic Australian residential house frame. This approach provides the spatial volumes necessary for understanding the furniture in context without breaking the visual connections of the showroom’s open plan. The front entrance uses very bold graphics and typography, which then leads into a space with soft, light materials. A polished concrete floor and exposed roof trusses retains the aesthetic charm of the building.
The space is intentionally understated, allowing the colourful furniture to dominate the space and create visual interest. Playful elements have been included via wall displays. A timber over‐sized pegboard with moveable pegs allows for a flexible and evolving display that reflects the American oak timber commonly used in Jardan’s products. The design approach delivers a tongue-in-cheek nod to the sunny Queenslander disposition while showcasing Jardan’s products in an accessible manner.