The world’s leading travel media company Lonely Planet has shifted its Australian headquarters to levels one and two of heritage listed The Malt Store at 551 Swanston Street, Carlton.
Lonely Planet has worked closely with the acclaimed Siren Design Group to ensure that the custom design and fit-out of the new premises - the heritage listed former Carlton and United Breweries site - is inspiring, functional, and true to the iconic Lonely Planet brand. Siren’s portfolio of previous design work encompasses clients of all budgets and sizes, and they are especially adept at delivering cost-effective solutions that make a striking impact.
Open to the general public, the reception area on level three of The Malt Store also doubles as a full retail shop showcasing Lonely Planet's extensive suite of products, including guides, kids’ books, travel merchandise, and gift pictorials.
Lonely Planet CEO Daniel Houghton said the company was thrilled to secure such a significant site.
“We are really pleased to have been able to secure such a stunning site for our new Melbourne office. It is vital for Lonely Planet to continue to have a presence in such a key market for the business, and it feels right that our new home should be in the old premises of another heritage Australian brand - Carlton & United Breweries. Melbourne as a city can be credited with a fantastic creative and progressive culture that has always been part of Lonely Planet's identity. I'm pleased that this will continue to be the case.
“We are excited that our team in Australia, who are so pivotal to many aspects of Lonely Planet's business, have a workspace that allows effective and enjoyable working, and reflects our brand heritage and passion for travel,” Mr Houghton said.
Conceived as a journey that begins at an ‘arrivals/departures’ lobby lounge, the design of the new Lonely Planet space unfolds over two levels to reveal various destination ‘zones’, spanning from the bright lights of New York City, to the overgrown tropical jungles of Borneo; from the icy landscapes of Iceland to the traditional architecture of Japan’s Edo period.
A combination of reclaimed and recycled furniture from Lonely Planet’s previous Melbourne office was adapted for the new office fit-out. Items such as table bases and lounges were given new life when partnered with new, sustainable finishes. All the products and materials used in the project were chosen for their sustainability. Workstation areas were positioned around the perimeter of the space to capitalise on the natural light entering the building, minimising the need for artificial light sources.
Lonely Planet’s Melbourne warehouse has also relocated. The company’s Melbourne Distribution Centre has now moved to a much larger custom-fit facility at 16-20 Clairmont Avenue in Melbourne's Bentleigh.
Lonely Planet - the world’s most successful travel publisher having printed more than 130 million books in 14 different languages – was started by Melbourne couple Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 1972.