Smart Design Studio - Sydney Architects


This project involved the conversion of Sydney’s legendary Taxi Club into offices for the established boutique real estate agency, Oxford.  The renovation was seen as an opportunity to change and develop the culture and efficiency of the organisation and began with a series of workshops focussed on how this office fitout could help that organisation achieve their objectives. This resulted in:

  • Maximised transparency through open-plan arrangement & (five) clear glass offices,
  • Deliberate openness to the street,
  • Generous staff facilities including outdoor terraces, kitchen and a bar,
  • Ample accessible storage, customised for their requirements.


Constructed as a deep terrace-style building and therefore bound on both long sides, with windows to the street and rear lane (but with a carpark on ground), the opportunities for light were very limited. Our proposed solution was to address the lack of light head on by creating a bespoke round LED pendant light that was coupled that with colourful joinery to bring life and light into the centre of the space. These elements create a wonderful juxtaposition with the raw, whitewashed, exposed structure of the existing building, and the other new elements inserted into the space including desks, panelling and bolon flooring, all of which are black.


A modest budget for the fitout required a maximum retention of the existing building such as the existing stair and lift, which were overclad with black satin polyurethane panels. It also created an honest fitout, where the budget is focused on the important areas, thus resonating with the corporate values of Oxford.


The outside of the building is strong yet sophisticated. Painted all white, with bronze steel trims and details, it commands attention without being strident. Its elegant presentation, coupled with the openness to the street, has been a positive addition to the wide and busy Flinders Street. This concept about animating the public domain through visible uses other than residential (which requires privacy measures) or retail is common to many of SDSs projects.


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