Birkenstock Australia has gone on a winning spree - but the reason for its acclaim might surprise.
The Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) has handed the footwear brand four awards for its headquarters.
The winning blitz took place at the BDAV Building Design Awards annual dinner on Saturday 26 July.
The project was awarded the Best Non-Residential Design – Alterations and Additions, Best Interior Design – Non Residential, Excellence in Use of Timber, and the top award Building Design of the Year 2014.
The head office has been described as setting a new benchmark for sustainable office environments and the future of retail.
The building was designed by Melbourne Design Studios in a neglected two-storey heritage listed building in Clifton Hill.
Paul Hassall, chair of the judging panel, said design consideration had been applied to every aspect of the project without appearing overworked.
“This project does not just pay lip-service to sustainability. It is obvious that staff wellbeing and connectivity, customer experience and the Birkenstock philosophy have all been carefully considered,” Hassall said.
“Refined space planning, the selection of natural and sustainable materials, recycled elements, extensive use of indoor planting and natural light show a maturity in considering the building, its users, customers, and the natural environment.”
Melbourne Design Studios director Marc Bernstein-Hussmann said nature formed an integral part of the headquarters’ design.
“The Birkenstock brand stands for sustainability, quality and craftsmanship. We ensured these elements were reflected in every design choice for their new headquarters and retail experience,” Bernstein-Hussmann said.
“The main consideration was to create a healthy and beautiful environment that not only reflected the Birkenstock brand, but also lived and breathed it.”