The Art of First Impressions

by Mark

A recent modification to Edmiston Jones’ Wollongong office has a bit of a backstory.

A road trip conversation with my son led me to question the impression I was making on clients with the presentation of the entry to our office. I learnt that his seemingly relaxed attitude with a cut glass tray acting as a self-serve cash register in his espresso bar was strategic. It underscored the trust in his relationship with customers, not the transaction – and it saved the cost of additional staff.

For Edmiston Jones, replacing our receptionist with an Administration Manager was a sign of the times. The prevalence of emails has meant that there are fewer phone calls and the increased scale and complexity of our projects demanded a higher level of administrative support. Locating our new Administration Manager in the main office with the architectural team recognised the professional status of the role. As a result, the old reception desk was vacant – not a good look entering our office!

Reception desk before the transformation

Reception desk before the transformation

We also came to realise that our clients’ experience had evolved beyond the transactional relationship symbolised by the reception counter. The engagement with our clients is very much about collaboration and the exchange of information. Trust is an essential ingredient.

While the idea of a library might seem archaic in this digital age we could not think of a better use of our old reception area. Shelves were built with plywood held within a solid timber painted frame. Solid core, hoop pine clad doors hung on Centor rollers, were installed to allow acoustic separation from the main work area.

Library sitting area

Library sitting area

The fit out was completed with armchairs handcrafted in Tasmania, complemented by matching coffee tables. The space now provides an informal meeting area, with a hoop pine plywood clad wall as a display space, for discussion with suppliers, consultants and clients. Books on architecture and design are readily accessible to inspire and share.

We are considered in our approach – the right amount, in the right place, at the right time.

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