A leader in contemporary Australian fashion for more than 14 years, Aje commence a new chapter with their collaborative Sydney headquarters. Taking up residency in the building of a once-famous Argentinian restaurant, the headquarters had to undergo a complete transformation. What we see now is a light-filled, two-story creative hub where all branches of the ever-growing business can come together under one roof. Those Architects have designed a highly functional, tailored space while weaving in Aje’s signature coastal-meets-city aesthetic.
The glass atrium roof douses the interiors in natural light.
Founded in 2008 by best friends Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest, Aje stocks effortless essentials and statement occasion pieces with stores across Australia and New Zealand.
The burgeoning fashion label elected a landmark Sydney building as their new HQ back in 2020, nominating Sydney and Byron based studio Those Architects to complete the project. The interiors have been stripped back and converted into a network of tailor-made offices and workspaces, coming together seamlessly under one dramatic glass atrium roof. Wherever possible, a focus on sustainability has been maintained, and character elements revived.
Most of the HQ furniture has been embedded into the architecture. The reception features the ASH NYC Pillow chair.
The space has been deliberately designed to emulate a courtyard building; the two levels are divided into key functional zones, all of which hinge around a central atrium. “The atrium provides a wondrous sense of calm and tranquillity to the showroom, where stylists, media and celebrities can browse the latest collections and explore with ease,” Aje co-founder Edwina Forest says.
Retained from the original building, a prominent concrete archway hosts an assembly of workstations around it. An ode to the past, its curves have become a motif for some of the more contemporary elements, for example, the curved walls and joinery in the reception. “The curves help balance some of the interior geometry, while also acting as a subtle guide, leading you through the space,” Those Architects director Ben Mitchell says.
Artisanal details: curved walls set against up-cycled natural timber.
The headquarters ’ material palette has been specifically chosen to reflect and reinforce Aje’s brand aesthetic; timber panelling, limestone flooring, travertine bench-tops and natural white walls consummate a laid-back, coastal feel. Other notable mentions include the soft turquoise exterior and eucalyptus-green balustrades that overlook the courtyard; recurring references to the Australian landscape.
Where fashion and architecture meet, Aje Sydney HQ will be the brand’s ‘back of house’ for many years to come.
Externally, Those Architects have touched the building only lightly; repairing windows and doors and adding a fresh coat of paint.