Hart architects is a Western Australia based company in Perth that provides architectural and interior design services in commercial, institutional, and multi-rise residential sectors. Found in 1995 by Robert Hart, the multidisciplinary firm follows its leader’s habit of taking a hands-on approach towards its designs. A firm believer in Mies Van De Rohe’s aphorism, ‘God is in the details’, Bob Hart tries to incorporate simple yet extremely impactful elements in his projects. The firm gives utmost importance to specific client needs and strives to craft every project in a unique manner.
1. Koondoola Primary School Administration Building
Keeping in mind the need for absolute functionality required in a children’s school, Hart architects crafted this clean and unconventional space in 2017. The design plays around with the notion of simplicity and tries to provide drama to an administrative building by creating a raked ceiling over the reception area. The designers wanted the children’s artwork to be the focal point here and therefore, the monochromatic and neutrally colored space is brightly lit by simple suspended lights that trace the outline of the furniture below. To augment the playful character of the space, different zones are further created by laying gradient carpet tiles in various interesting patterns.
2. 11, Mounts Bay Road Office Tenancy Fitout
In an attempt to make the ambiance of an office more synergetic, Bob Hart and his team of designers composed this dynamic interior space with splashes of purples, blues, and greys in an otherwise clean and white envelope. Contemporary seating in sculpture-like forms is used in the interactive meeting areas, enclosed by low-height partitions. Flooring is used as a circulation defining element whose pattern appears to be directional in the breakout areas and stationery but scattered in the collaborative workspaces.
2. Perth Railway Station Transperth Infocentre
An award-winning project by Hart Architects, the info center for Perth’s railway station was built in 2015 as a vibrant space that lays its entire visual focus on the catalog wall behind the information desk. Enclosed into space by an arched door and windows, the brightly colored feature wall streamlines the categorization and functionality within the space as well. The spirited shades of yellow, blue, green, red, and orange lend a cheerful and upbeat aura to the office space.
3. Perth Train Station Refurbished Office
Fabricated into a heritage building, the renovated office for Perth’s railway station demonstrates the harmony between contemporary and traditional architectural elements of Western Australia. An ornate and opulent fireplace is surrounded by an array of sepia-toned historical photographs worked onto glazed partitions. Arched corridors and traditional staircases are kept intact which along with these photographs impart a historic narrative to space. The breakout spaces provide a stark contrast by playing with bold colors in the heritage block.
4. Donna Percy St. Barrack Office Fitout
In another effort to liven up an office space, the minds at work at Hart architects have used a blazing tone of fuchsia as a characteristic element in the meeting room of this CBD office. The bright fuchsia is further integrated with neon green furniture to bring in a fresh and radiant vibe. Storage spaces are cleverly formed in various niches of the built block for better space optimization and clean planning. The firm’s support for provincial crafts is shown by displaying some beautiful watercolor paintings made by a local artist on the feature wall.
5. Western Power Fit Out Project
Robert Hart and his team of designers hold the utmost regard for old, heritage buildings. For an interior project designed for the Western Power Unit of Perth, they carefully selected materials that would skilfully enhance the historic character of the building. Ornate columns and exposed brick walls are highlighted in contemporary fashion. The contrast between the old and new is best demonstrated through the corridors with a brick wall on one side and mixed-material contemporary partitions on the other.
7. NPPS Covered Assembly Area
The covered assembly space for the Northern Perth Primary School displays the services of the building in all their grandeur. Bright blue painted drainage pipes descend from the inclined roof around the periphery of the building along with rolling shutters. The inclination of the roof gives internal height to the structure and allows it to also be used as a covered sports area for the students.
8. HBF Offices – Various Branches
The multiple HBF offices use an amalgamation of the trademark wooden flooring along with black vinyl. Porous partitions made of solid wood sections and acrylic shelves are designed to give a certain amount of privacy to the offices within. Furniture is kept fairly simple so that it does not dominate the brand’s identity.
9. HBF House Upgrade
The HBF house lobby and café divides its seating and circulation areas by the means of flooring. The curvilinear distinction gives the illusion of an island to the café seating space and makes it dynamic by adding pops of dark red in an otherwise monochromatic zone. The multicolored rooms on the levels above follow the same concept of using flooring materials and patterns as space dividers between different zones. Quirky furniture and wall elements are used in the breakout and buffer areas to enhance the playful character of the space.
10. Komatsu Welshpool Showroom and Warehouse
The Best Industrial Building award by Master Builders, Western Australia was bestowed upon the Komatsu Welshpool Showroom, created by Hart Architects in 2015. To make the brand the focus of the space, clean and simple forms are used for designing the Komatsu Welshpool reception counter. The showroom in the front and the warehouse in the back are designed as exact opposites where simplicity rules in one area and an array of vertical and horizontal members rules the other. The site offers vast views of the outer campus and brings in an expanse of natural light from the fully glazed partition of the meeting room.
11. CIT Entry Forecourt
The entry space for the Central Institute of Technology in Northbridge acts as an attractive and inviting feature of the building. The pavilion-like open seating on the landscaped area in the front serves as a great way of interaction between the building and the street. The outdoor space is lit by contemporary street lights and the dash of bright orange on the ground floor columns and entry makes the building unique.
12. Saint Martin’s Tenancy Fitout
In another interior office project designed by the firm, custom made suspended lights adorn the ceiling. Quirky, multicolored furniture is used in the café area to make the space look relaxing. The lift lobby uses woven vinyl as wall treatment to engage its users. A huge, custom-designed reception counter near the entrance with a suspended ceiling above it catches the attention.
13. P&N Bank
Hart Architects has done quite a few tenancy and kiosk designs for the local P&N Bank. The main design incentive in these bank branches is to produce functional spaces and incorporate the brand’s defining color scheme of red and white. Corian is used as a distinctive material in all the designs for the bank in various ways and forms. The Midland Branch showcases an elegant feature wall made by carving and curving the surface of Corian. A kiosk design for the bank won the Dupont Corian Design Competition in 2014 for the material’s use in the distinctive table.
14. Hawaiian ground floor lobby and cafe refurbishment
When asked to redesign a large café space to increase its efficiency and footfall of a neighboring kiosk, the creative designers of the firm came up with an open layout of the Hawaiian Café. The waiting area consisting of plush sofa seating and the café with its minimal furniture is separated by bench seats that work as low height room dividers. An onyx clad reception table between both the spaces acts as the focal point. The color scheme of the upholstery and the laminate finishing used is reminiscent of the colors of autumn which complement the concrete, circular columns.
15. Scarborough Apartments
As one of the proposed projects by Hart Architects which will soon enter the construction phase, the multi rise apartment building on the West Coast Highway is also a means of streetscape activation. The full-height glass windows of the lower commercial floors and the street furniture designed like art pieces engage pedestrian activity with the built-space. On the residential floors above, the curvilinear periphery of the terraces imparts the illusion of light coastal breeze flowing through the surfaces of the building.
Every design firm eventually makes a particular design feature its trademark. In the case of Hart Architects, the creative use of flooring patterns to define and divide the space seems to be their distinctive specialty. The innovative minds at this firm also seem to challenge the very notion of office and corporate spaces. Their designs insinuate that the new age workspaces are not just supposed to be plain and neutral rooms but are flexible enough to be played in various ways.