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See Koskela's New Concept Store + HQ Inside A Former Submarine Base

Shopping

Ethical lifestyle and furniture brand Koskela has left its Rosebery headquarters to set up shop inside a heritage submarine base on Cammeraygal land, in North Sydney!

The new two-level space is set within the Sub Base Platypus precinct – a community recreation and work hub, which, in a former life, was a torpedo factory and gasworks.

Now, it serves as Koskela’s scenic office (with sweeping views of the Sydney harbour!) flagship retail store and exhibition space dedicated to showcasing the best in Australian design with a special spotlight on First Nations artists. The brand’s co-founder Sasha Titchkosky shares more about their incredible setup and future plans for the space.

23rd March, 2022

Step inside Koskela’s new store! Photo – Anson Smart

Serene waterfront views enhance the shopping experience. Photo – Anson Smart

Koskela co-founders Sasha Titchkosky and Russel Koskela. Photo – Anson Smart

The light and bright lower floor of the store is dedicated to homewares. Photo – Anson Smart

But upstairs is home to an impressive exhibition area. Photo – Anson Smart

It also doubles as the brand’s incredible office! Photo – Anson Smart

‘Our office showcases all our latest hybrid working modules so we can practice what we preach to our workplace clients. We love working in the office and also have everything enabled so we can work outside in the amazing covered atrium spaces, looking out on the sparkling harbour,’ Sasha says. Photo – Anson Smart

The store includes the introduction of solid Australian timbers and Sydney Sandstone, which are both key features of the site and the area. Photo – Anson Smart

‘Pre-pandemic we often had a lot of visitors from overseas and interstate and we have also been resolutely Australian made since we started 22 years ago but being in a big old warehouse in a semi industrial part of Sydney didn’t seem to represent this. When we thought about what an iconically Sydney location would look like, some relationship to the Sydney Harbour seemed like a must,’ Sasha says. Photo – Anson Smart

Christina Karras
Wednesday 23rd March 2022

While some brands might be moving away from brick-and-mortar storefronts amid the pandemic, Koskela co-founders Sasha Titchkosky and Russel Koskela felt it was the perfect time to re-imagine what the ideal retail experience might look like.

The end of the 10-year lease at their Rosebery location presented the opportunity for Sasha and Russel to start building the ‘next phase’ for Koskela. Sasha says they ‘stumbled’ upon the converted Sub Base Platypus location on a neighbourhood walk during Sydney’s first lockdown, but it took another year before they were ready to make the move – luckily, the space was still available!

‘The role of the store has changed since COVID and we think our new location reflects the type of experience customers are looking for,’ she says.

‘We want to connect and make memories with our visitors, bringing true connection and meaning to the pieces that they own… hopefully making them heirlooms to be treasured and maintained as a piece of Australian history.’

The ground floor features smaller products, homewares and gifting, while furniture and the exhibition space are positioned on the upper level. Plus, there’s a purpose-designed consultation area, ‘amazing covered atrium spaces’, and office spaces showcasing Koskela’s latest modules.

Sasha says the new store enjoys ASPECT Studio and Lahznimmo architects’ contemporary redesign of the converted heritage site, in addition to the ‘spectacular’ harbour views and sandstone cliff face!

The purpose-lead, Certified B Corporation has proudly worked with First Nations artists for more than a decade, so it’s only fitting its retail offering will incorporate a collaboration with award-winning Koori artist, Blak Douglas on a permanent installation artwork.

‘We have an amazing program of exhibitions for the year – all of them except for Michelle Morcos (on now) – are First Nations artists,’ Sasha says. So in addition to the scenic shopping experience, customers can come explore the artworks from a stellar line-up of creatives, including Tiwi Design, Tylah Saunders, Tiarna Herczeg and Waymbul Studios.

Shop Koskela’s range of homewares and furniture online here, or visit the store at Sub Base Platypus, 120 High St North Sydney.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net