As one of the major players in the self storage industry, it’s always interesting to see what Kennards Self Storage are up to. Last year the Association and its members had the pleasure of ‘having a poke around’ Kennard’s brand new headquarters which had just been relocated from Homebush to Macquarie Park in Sydney.
The ground floor of the main building consists of self storage units and a box shop with the Kennards Self Storage “Size It” room to make it easy for customers to determine just how much space they need without walking all over the property. The orange and blue Kennards livery is clearly displayed in the shop and naturally on the exterior of the building.
In the centre of the downstairs level is perhaps what some would view as the piece de resistance; their very own on premise restaurant and café; Verace Pizzeria, run by the effervescent Stefano. He and his award winning pizza chefs imported everything from Italy (including their large selection of trophies) and are only too happy to whip up a feast for hungry Kennards staff as well as the casual passer-by.
The upstairs of the main building is comprised of an open plan office space, kitchen, lounge area and meeting rooms. The minimal stylish interior is designed to encourage creativity, innovation and the flow of ideas between staff, unlike the traditional office space. It features corrugated-cardboard (wiggle) chairs by Frank Gehry, a polished concrete floor, natural light and a custom-designed rug by Fiona Lynch.
The office has won the Australian Interior Design Awards for Workplace Design and it is not hard to see why. The office was designed by SJB who were tasked to reflect the Kennards brand and values in a contemporary and relaxed way. The adaptive re-use of an existing building is typical of Kennards many self storage buildings, and the deliberately raw yet refined design says much of the Kennards open, candid yet professional culture.
Despite the modern feel, there are special touches scattered throughout the facility that speak to the Kennards team and sense of family.
One such example is the concrete hand prints that line one of the gardens at the front of the building; team members that have been with the company for 10 or more years literally have their hard work and commitment cemented.
Another historical touch is an old metal sign – a remnant of Neville Kennards roof rack business from the 1950’s.
In addition to the ingenuity the space invokes, the building is also extremely practical, currently with 272 units, state of the art security and self storage technology. After a successful battle in the Land & Environment Court with Ryde Council, Kennards also now have approval for a second building of five levels, and approximately 600 additional spaces. The completed storage centre will have over 900 storage units.
While the site appears almost brand new it was actually converted from an existing warehouse, no easy task for building company CIC.