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Berry Street – Support Services

Cultivating safety, comfort, and connection for Berry Street's ground-level guest sanctuary




400 sqm


Health & Workplace
Workplace & Office

Discover the story of Berry Street’s sanctuary, a true oasis in the dynamic urban landscape of Preston. This ground-level haven transcends the conventional, standing as a pillar of hope and restoration. Every detail is thoughtfully curated to cultivate an environment of safety, comfort, and connection for all who pass through its welcoming doors.


The Challenge

Merit Interiors embarked on a mission to construct a versatile community area at Berry Street in Preston, dedicated to enhancing local mental health and well-being. The primary objective was to create a space accommodating various user groups while maintaining an atmosphere that warmly welcomes vulnerable guests. Managing time and budget constraints, aiming for completion by the end of January 2024, added an extra layer of complexity to the project.


The Solution

Through Merit’s innovative workplace strategy program, Compass, we embarked on a comprehensive consultative process, ensuring integration of insights from every department into our design framework. This inclusive approach fostered trust and harmonised stakeholder objectives, which streamlined the approval process and enriched the final design outcome.

The Compass program included an in-depth discovery phase, combining in-person meetings, targeted surveys, and strategic interviews to capture the aspirations of Berry Street and their guests. With the overarching vision and unique user needs in focus, we crafted meticulous plans and innovative design solutions that responded adeptly to the mosaic of requirements presented.


Safety Considerations

Throughout the development of our project, the safety of our users stood at the forefront. We incorporated advanced security measures, including discreetly placed duress buttons, comprehensive alarm systems, and secure swipe access controls. Thoughtful design optimisation of sightlines and strategic placement of egress doors further reinforced the secure environment. Additionally, we integrated anti-ligature fixtures within the bathrooms, ensuring a design that is not only elegant but also rigorously attuned to the prevention of potential risks.


Cultural Inclusivity

Berry Street embraces the intricacies of cultural diversity, weaving the rich tapestry of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage into the fabric of their ethos. The brand stands as a proud custodian of inclusivity, with every aspect of their culture resonating with this commitment. At the core of our design philosophy, cultural inclusivity is more than an
afterthought-it’s a guiding principle.

This not only provides comfort in moments of vulnerability but also serves as a silent ambassador of our embrace of diversity. In a special collaboration with a local Indigenous artist, the space is brought to life with a palette of vibrant colours that echo the stories and traditions of the community. These design choices are a deliberate stride towards nurturing a sense of belonging and unity within the community we serve.


Inclusivity in Reception and Facilities

We prioritised inclusivity in reception and facilities, ensuring accessibility for individuals with diverse abilities. Reception areas were wheelchair-accessible, and bench heights were adapted to accommodate various requirements. The space was equipped with workspaces and meeting rooms to cater to individual and family consultations.


Harnessing Pastels and Calming Colours for Inclusivity

Our selection of materials and textures aimed to create an inclusive atmosphere, mirroring the tranquil spirit of the local landscape. Pastel tones, calming blues, and soft pinks were complemented by warm timber accents, creating an inviting and soothing ambiance connected to nature.

The transformation of Berry Street’s ground-level space underscores our commitment to excellence. Despite time and budget constraints, we delivered a welcoming, safe, and inclusive environment that prioritises well-being. This project exemplifies our dedication to crafting spaces that embrace community, wellness, and inclusivity.