HSBNE Entrance Way Improvements

Howdy all,

I’ve been talking to a bunch of people recently about upgrading the entrance way. I have nearly two months to spare in the near future in which to make it awesome, what I need is ideas, I have some, but this is the kind of thing that is best crowd sourced and distilled. Personally I’d like to see the entrance way as a showcase kind of place, at the moment it is anything but a showcase. I’d like it to be a place new members/visitors can poke about for a little while when they walk in. Right now they kind of walk in to a drab, messy place, which needs improvement. The things at the top of the list as far as I can see are as follows.

Removal of the kitchenette from the main entrance way - Dirty dishes make us all look like chumps. There are myriad places other than the entrance way to have a microwave and all that jazz to make a simple meal or a coffee.

Couches - they’re comfy as but they don’t really give a good first impression, I could make covers for them or replace them with something less shit, I’d also like to put in a table top

Paint - I’d love to see some colour in there. If anyone knows anyone or is skilled enough themselves, it’d be pretty epic to get a mural going incorporating various bits and bobs of everyones favourite characters.

Shelving - Somewhere to show the stuff we make and will make in the future. Tully and I were tossing around ideas for some edge lighting stuff. including a nift spherical dealy,


Or maybe something like,

I dunno,

The main thing for me is to get it to a position where the entrance way is less late early 80’s school office and more awesome place of making awesome shit. I have 2 weeks of uni left, then I can start on this project, I would like to get some decent feedback on this before then. Bring on the suggestions/concerns/offerings of assistance.

Sounds Like a great plan !
I like those cool shelves, it would be very nice to bring some fresh design features to the space.
I would suggest to remove the kitchenette from the main entrance and use what we have taken out to significantly improve the area where the other sink is in the green room.
I will be happy to lend my hand to this project.
I will also try to find some good couches to replace the ones we currently have. I agree they are an eyesore.

Deffinitely, even if people just have eyes out for a decent couch on council pickup I will go and pick them up with the trailer if anyone finds something more suitable.

Put me down for helping out. I’d like to see the welcome center consolidated, the windows for the Gabe room decaled or stencil chalked.

I also still have parts for an arcade machine I’m willing to donate, cocktail games machine anyone?

Also that counter either needs to go or have a nice big hsbne logo put on it.

This is going to sound really negative, which is a shame because I’m a huge supporter of the idea of rebuilding the entrance to HSBNE, but I really don’t like the idea of removing the kitchen.

Put simply if it had bench space rather than 2 kettles a box of stuff, and a amplifier, and it had no drying rack for people to pile there shit on, it would be perfectly functional and presentable. Honestly there is plenty of room for an entrance way without moving the kitchen, and if your wanting a sitting area I’ll point out we have a games room with couches just there, not only is it normally empty, but its also perfectly visible from the main entrance. Finally having the counter for the kitchen in the entrance way makes a AWSOME place to have some HSBNE symbols and projects on display right as you walk in the main door. If anything its this display (and the vending machines that are currently very unfinished looking, but that will change in due time) that you see far more than the kitchen, and if we are removing the amp and speakers (since there is a better set in the green room anyway, a shout-out for the bluetooth to tully) then we will have even less junk and more room for a new project to show off.

Besides the only other idea I have heard for the kitchen (room next to bone yard) is way too far away from the green room, and honestly it will seem like a really bad choice when its dark, you have to carry your food back and its raining on you. Also the current location at least has the boon that its in the door-ward direction, so people are more likely to carry dirty dishes back too it (but apparently not to wash them) before they leave.

On the other hand the shelves both look and sound cool, and I’d love to see them replace the white board. I also agree wholeheartedly about the couches, they look pretty bad, so if a replacement can be found then that’s great. Paint is also a dam good idea. Honestly these things need to be done, and if you see me at the space when your working I’m totally down to lend a hand, but I actually currently don’t see how ANY of these things require permanent removal of the kitchen.

A random idea I have had is we could actually move the public open day entrance (leave the current door always closed and swipe card only as the “back” door) entrance, not the kitchen. Think about it, we have a gate that’s much closer to the way in, has plenty of room for visitor car parking in between the fence and (chemlab,boneyard,empty) building. We also have a vacant room there, one that’s positively surrounded by windows we could use for display purposes. Finally you walk into the courtyard where there is normally people hanging round and talking anyway, rather than leaving people standing between a corridor, kitchen and people already busy on a projects. It may not be ideal, but I think its certainly worth thinking about as I have seen several new people walk in via that gate anyway, and there is honestly no way to make HSBNE look good if you walk round 2 blank sides of the old buildings on the other side of a chain link fence with no idea if your even in the right place save the 1 sign on the workshop.

All in all not trying to be negative, and very happy to lend a hand, but I do feel that there has not yet been a good reason to go to all the effort to move the kitchen, so I’d like to have this discussion before people put there time and effort into this.

Why not just throw up a wall in front of the kitchen. This way you can put a door on it and keep it closed. It doesn’t stop people from leaving dirty dishes in there, but it does allow you to keep that area contained. Then you put up your shelves on said wall if that’s what your after. This then becomes the first thing you see as you walk straight in the doors. Alternately, you could put up the wall and leave an opening/window and using a couple of hinges, a few of hooks, some mdf and some chain to make an opening, which can remain closed unless needed, so you can still use the kitchen and serve things out via a ‘breakfast bar’ type scenario. Idea being that this would work if there is ever an open day/working bee where you expect to serve some kind of food to punters you can do so without going back and forward through a doorway.

I don’t think moving the entrance is a good idea. You need to have somewhere visitors can sign in (though i think the current setup could use a little refinement), read any introductory type material (this is hsbne/membership fees and entitlements/OH&S etc etc.), and maybe get greeted by someone who can do the quick run through/welcome/introductions to other like minded individuals (rather than walking into the green room and standing around feeling awkward) I understand it’s probably not anyone’s job per say to meet and greet, but it would have sure made that first visit feel a little bit more welcoming and a little less unsure. I expected there would have been an automated system of some kind to notify a member via sms or similar, that a 1st time visitor has arrived and needs to be welcomed.

I must say, the first time I walked into the HS, i honestly walked into the entry and though ‘holy shit, what am i doing here’. It wasn’t a welcoming feeling, but that’s best left to another thread as this is quickly going off-topic.

I am not a member and have only visited a few times so far, so YMMV regarding my opinions.


Thank you for your suggestions. You are right, first impressions are a big thing and that is why we are trying to really freshen up the entrance. We are working really hard to make the space more welcoming and user friendly, we have undertaken a major clean up of the premises we will also be soon painting the major external walls of the buildings. In addition we will be soon launching a Kickstarter campaign to gather funds to further improve the space.
I have not given much thought to the meet and greet issue, so thank you for bringing that up, I will put it down as a priority.



I would prefer opening up the kitchen area, the downside of closing it in is the cleanliness.
Removal of all electronics (That arn’t kitchen related) would be the first step, move the bench top to the left wall (the same wall as the switchboard) and remove the counter. This will increase the space and make the place more usable in my point of view.

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The suggestion to close it in was in opposition to removing it.

Do you think if its more exposed its going to make people cleaner or just more sneaky when they leave things?

I’m personally also in favour of making the entrance area much “nicer”.

I think the easiest way is Cr0n’s idea of putting a full-height wall where the 1/2 height wall presently is, and a door that can be closed-off. It gives another wall to hang decorative display/s from too… FYI: I have enough wood and plaster lying around my new ( in-progress) house construction right now that I could do that at minimal or near-zero cost from left-overs. I’m pretty sure there’s at least one spare door floating around a back room of the space at the moment too…

I also agree with Hamish’s statements that all non-kitchen items desperately need to leave the area ( who puts a stereo and a PC in a kitchen… honestly…? :slight_smile: , and de-cluttering it will encourage people to keep it at appropriate cleanliness levels. Big signs says “food preparation area only, take your grubby projects to the other sink, thanks” would help here too.

And just so this doesn’t become a bike-shedding thread, if you are having a say here, I encourage you to ALSO offer to take part in it.

Did rut4ger just offer to do the painting, and shelving…?
Did victor just offer to find some couches?
I’m pretty sure I offered to build a wall, put a door in, and put plaster sheets on it. :slight_smile:
Victor, Nog, and Hamish all also “offered to help”… so there’s no backing out now. :slight_smile:



That was my first experience showing up at the space as well, I can see it in the face of new people showing up too. A wall

rut4ger = Karl, I can and will do the work we decide on starting in the next fortnight, whatever ends up being agreed upon I can build it whether other people are able to help me or not.

Putting up a wall would do a good job of hiding the mess agreed, I tend to think hiding the mess would only further exacerbate the messiness already in the kitchenette. I think that space could be better put to use.

The room that currently houses the laser cutter could make for a decent kitchenette, it has water, a sink and a bench to make small items of food.

I would suggest:

  • move kitchenette to the laser cutter room, make the laser cutter room an office/“break room” kind of deal.
  • current “office room” would then house the laser cutter and whatever other gear wants to live with the laser cutter.
  • the current kitchenette can be used to house all the various vending machines we’ve got.
  • move all the whiteboards out of the lobby to one of the end rooms to free up wall space in that area, the information held on those boards could be kept in little propaganda leaflets/posted pieces of paper on the wall, a 3m wide whiteboard takes up an excessive amount of space in a valuable area.

I agree putting up a wall would be the easiest way but i don’t mind putting the extra effort in to get a more polished result.

Also, by “I can and will do all the work we decide on starting in the next fortnight” I mean “all the work that is decided to be undertaken in the next two weeks, will be completed over the coming 6-8 weeks.”

If you place a wall up I’m not going to complain (too much).

I am more than willing to help remove the bench top and open the area up more, having a minimalistic kitchen setup with couches and power for laptops and the like.

Basically turning it into a common area where people gather to socialise but not actively working on projects.
This is presently not possible, the space constrains for more than three people becomes crowded with everyone tripping over everyone else IMO.

Having the area used more and not hidden away like all the other rooms, people become aware of the mess and can start prodding others when the mess is made. “Hey dude you going to clean that up?”

Exactly what I’m thinking, whether it gets moved or not, dishes make us look like cumps/chumpettes and need to not be there any more. I personally don’t use dishes apart from the occasional glass, and the people that do usually only make things about as complicated as 2 minute noodles. This is not hard to cater to in the slightest.

If everyone who has not been cleaning up after themselves actually starts to clean their own plates etc. then opening the area up could be an option. The next question is, will the cleaning up happen since it hasn’t been happening so far?

Will it eventually get to a stage where every member will have a plate/bowl/cup with their name on it and they keep it in their own members box? Then if its used and dirty, you know who it belongs to.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say people won’t, it hasn’t in the past and in general, even if the system is working perfectly there is going to be stuff there being cleaned. The front entrance isn’t the place for that when there are other decent places for it. In what other organisation would you enter the building via the kitchen?

Via the kitchen (physically walking through the kitchen) no, but past the kitchen which is the case here then yes.

If we were to turn it into a hangout common room then the kitchen aspect would diminish and become more welcoming IMO.

It would, I completely agree, if it were kept clean. Which in the past it has been demonstrated that it can’t. It happens in every little kitchen. Which is why I tend to think we should just circumvent the issue and move the kitchen to somewhere more suitable.

The most complex processes anyone is going to go through are making noodles or microwaving something, that’s all anyone does as far as I can see in the current kitchen. These could all be performed in any place you can rest a microwave and a kettle. I’d really like to hear from anyone who regularly prepares food at the space, and the facilities they use to do so. There is ample room to make provisions so that everyone is catered to for all situations. I just don’t see anyone really needing anything more complex than what was listed above.

I really would like to hear everyone’s input on this project, positive or negative. I don’t want to just do whatever I feel is a good idea as it is a large part of the communal space. This is one spot where a do-ocracy doesn’t really apply. I’m going to do something in the coming months to make the space more welcoming and I want that something to be agreeable to as large of a chunk of the membership as possible. The sooner you speak up with your input the sooner it can be taken into account.

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Firstly, brav-fuckin-o. I’m dead keen to see this area of the space cleaned up.

Secondly, I will help in any way I can (although I’m away for a month on monday).

I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to see done to that area for a while. I’d like to see:

  • A kitchen/food/clean sink, a small bench area for preparation, and perhaps a microwave, kettle etc.
  • A dirty/chemicals sink. We currently have this with the two sinks and I think its an important idea to preserve.
  • That bench totally knocked out, just get rid of it.
  • The electrics shifted as much as possible in the closet and that little closet knocked out for more useful space
  • The area filled with couches, chairs, coffee tables as an inviting chillout laptop+internet space.

Some caveats:

  • The bench has concrete foundations that come up. knocking it out will involve jackhammering/grinding those away.
  • Once you’ve done that, flooring is a bit of an issue. Probably the most practical solution is a cheap laminate flooring? Epoxy paint is not a path worth travelling down again.
  • Moving the electrical stuff is no small feat, but I think that it is worth it.
  • If you knock out that half wall (right hand side when you walk in), theres plumbing inside it that will need rerouting. but If you’re game to reroute plumbing, you’ve got a shitload more options for how you place the sinks.
  • If you knock out that wall, its worthwhile knocking out the roof hole thing and just putting drop ceiling across the whole thing. Its a pain in the ass but we specifically saved roofing material to do it (and the chemlab etc) and it will be aesthetically worthwhile.
  • Before anyone says it, no, none of these walls are load bearing. the load bearing columns are pretty clearly visible, they’re steel ribs on the outside walls.

What I absolutely DO NOT want to see:

  • The entire area walled off. holy crap a terrible idea. We work best in open inviting spaces where theres little potential for mess or resources to be hidden behind things. Ie, open shelves are much better than closets with doors. (seriously, grab any closet like space in the space and open it. most of them are filled with trash)
  • Any more people bitching about things that people have donated to us in good faith. That couch was donated by a friend of mine and people in this thread have been quite unreasonable about it. You know whats worse than a non ideal couch? no couch.
  • The entrance moved around to the other gate.

For the record, I’m not really keen on the sink in the laser room becoming the kitchen. Mainly because I don’t want food or food prep in there. I’d support cannibalising that bench setup for parts (water filter, benchtop etc), because it would free up useful space in that room and that sink is semi useless due to lack of drainage.

The exec and some core members lately have been talking about plans for space usage, and we’re currently working with the landlord to figure out 3 phase in the middle building, and turning the ‘kitchen’ room into an semi-clean arts room. Think screen printing, clay, the kiln, painting etc. So lets not talk too much about using that for cooking because frankly its just not a good idea.

I’ll also remind everyone that a while back, the membership voted to allow the exec to spend $30 per member to issue them with a welcome kit. Part of that will be to issue members with a plastic eating set with their name engraved. That way we can identify and make people accountable for mess. We would obv get rid of existing eating gear. We looked into disposable stuff but its expensive and an ongoing maintenance issue. So thats certainly on the books once we’re fiscally a bit more sound (ie not broke) and should really help out with the mess issue.

I think the ideas around paint, and open shelving etc are all fantastic. If we can make some better area for posting information about the space (ie the gaggle of whiteboards throughout the space) I’m keen for that also, because thats important. Maybe the games room big windows could be frosted and lit and used as nice boards? that would be cool.

But yeah. Karl, I’d love to twist your ear sometime (probably over something like skype, since I’m travelling) to have a chat about this, because I’m passionate and I’d be neck deep in it if I weren’t out of town.

I think its definitely time to step back up with the renovation gusto, and I think Karl is a very capable person. While you’re all scheming that, perhaps some quick wins could travel their way into the classroom also? wink wink Sanding/paint on the ‘projector wall’, mounting that green screen properly, and fixing up my wall bogging abortion would go a long way.

Last thought before I go, since I’m brain dumping, if we end up with or find around the space and surplus sinks due to this or whatever, please save them. We have all the plumbing and parts to put them into the warehouse which will be super useful.