Cotton On Group is Australia’s largest global retailer, known for its fashion clothing and stationery brands. It has over 1,500 stores in 18 countries and employs 22,000 workers globally with this in mind, they wanted to create an impressive global headquarters, sentimentally located in the region of its roots – Geelong.
The building, constructed using the foundations of a former factory, was to appear as if it had always been a part of the local fabric, with references to the industrial architecture of the area. The offices would incorporate working spaces for over 1000 staff, as well as an on site restaurant and wellness centre which is a groundbreaking space designed to encourage a work-life balance.
Cotton On Group enlisted celebrated Australian designer Greg Natale to devise a landmark workspace which masterfully merges the region’s industrious history with influences of luxury lodgings from around the world. Collaborating with commercial workplace specialists PTID, Natale dreamed up a unique workplace space swathed in old-school grandeur, filled with the luxurious details one might find in a 5 star hotel. These offices would reflect Cotton On’s commitment to the comfort, wellbeing and success of their people.
In order to meet the clients vision, Designer Rugs and Greg Natale approached this project with three distinct designs.
The first was for the reception space – a grand entrance and first impression for arriving staff and visitors. A traditional design was chosen, reminiscent of Persian style rugs, and handknotted in a traditional method. Created in large runner and circular shapes in rich hues of navy and burgundy, these rugs impart the strong heritage of the brand and location, as well as emulating the lobby of a grand hotel.
The second group of rugs were for the staff common space and restaurant, and were selected from our collection of distressed, contemporary handknot designs. Handwoven in shimmering bamboo silk in silver and neutral hues, these rugs are often used in high end residential spaces, but in a workplace environment are perfect for delineating breakout spaces and relaxation areas.
The third area and distinct collection of rugs were for the wellness centre – a layered, resort-style space with an inviting and calming atmosphere. Greg Natale’s own design Vapour was used as the main focal point, a beautifully organic, dappled design custom coloured in a fresh palette of pink and green. Perfectly paired with the timber and rattan finishes, the rug transforms the space into a small oasis.
Designer Rugs and Greg Natale have a decades long relationship, and were the clear choice for floor coverings for this project. Being specialized in creating rugs for both hotels and workplaces gave us a unique edge when creating these stunning rugs.
The final project is a dream workplace, perfectly attuned to the culture of Cotton On Group. Completely centered around its people, this is a truly unique space that uses the magic of design to influence mood and mindset.
Interior Design: Greg Natale, PTID
Photography: Anson Smart