Escala Partners is a fresh presence in Australia’s wealth management landscape and the new headquarters in Melbourne’s Collins Street are a distinctive, game-changing affair in which quality, care and market differentiation pervade every space and surface.
Dispelling the sterility of the commercial office typology, MOLECULE sought to treat the firm’s clients uncommonly well and so looked to social venues for inspiration; the project reimagines the cloistered clubs of mid-century Manhattan, when doing business was a glamorous act and a handshake sealed a deal.
Throughout the space a limited but cohesive palette of timeless materials affords a transportative experience, but very definitely not a stage set. At a finer scale, a painstaking gloss paint detail abstracts the coffered ceilings and wainscot panelling of historical interiors, while the entry signage and the menu that is offered to clients on arrival are bound in leather that matches the nine-metre long custom chesterfield sofa.
The project heralds a new benchmark in professional services environments and workplace design, suggesting that work is meant to be enjoyed and conversations about money – even stressful ones – can happen in the presence of beauty.