Concept Breathes New Life Into Brisbane 1930s Landmark

Concept Environmental Services is proud to have returned the heritage-listed J.Kitchen and Sons building, located at 60 Edmondstone Road in Bowen Hills, to its former glory.

Soap and candle manufacturer J.Kitchen and Sons built the lavish interwar office building in 1939, with it quickly becoming an iconic landmark.

The building represents a reminder of the heavy industry that characterised the region’s success from the 1880s through to the 1960s and is now taken into the future by Concept.

“We live and breathe sustainability, here at Concept, so it was fitting to breathe new life into a historically significant building like this one,” says Concept Environmental Services CEO Paul Avey.

“The landscaping has taken our ‘green’ approach and applied it to the location as well, ensuring a little slice of nature across the premises,” he says.

The grand J.Kitchen and Sons office was ahead of its time and, following its unveiling, The Courier Mail said: “Though its locality is yet far from ideal, there are signs that it will yet become a place of dignity and beauty.”

The building displays typical interwar design characteristics fashionable at the time of construction, such as red brick and tiled hipped roof, finished by two iconic flag poles on either side of the grand entrance.

“The welcoming grand facade and two Australian flags flying high above, come together to make this location as iconic as they come here in the heart of Brisbane,” Avey says.

“I think I speak for all our staff when I say it’s a proud feeling walking into this iconic office, knowing its heritage and keeping that alive.”

The ‘functionalist’ style, typical of interwar design trends, has been complemented by the refurbishment that aimed to retain original design cues – right down to the gold signwriting on the period glass doors.

Boutique Brisbane-based fit-out specialists, Xenia Construction, renowned for their high-end historical refurbishments, were responsible for the refurbishment and fit-out – this being one of their best.

“For us, it was a no-brainer to use Xenia, especially given they specialise in buildings with strong historical importance – we couldn’t be happier with the end result,” Avey says.

An airy ‘natural tone’ inside the building aims to complement the ‘functionalist’ 1930’s design, highlighting characteristics like louvres, intricate Victorian cornices, and more than 80 years of scars and momentos.