Articles / Apartment Design

Open expression

Want to know more?

Contact us

The comprehensive fit-out for the new Perth headquarters of a national construction company reflects interior design values of interaction, engagement and connectivity

advertisment

Casual social interaction between workers, and a high level of transparency to clients are important concepts in contemporary office design. A central circulation element is one way forward.

When national property group Charter Hall first began the development of WorkZone, on the fringe of the Perth CBD, Hassell was asked to undertake the interiors.

Interior designer David Rey says relocating any multifaceted company to a single address brings the opportunity to use the building form and interior design to actively promote teamwork.

"A key objective of this project was to celebrate the potential of enhancing people and client engagement," he says. "In addition, we wanted the interiors to have a high level of transparency. It was also important to achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating for the interior."

Rey says the project was an integrated fit-out – Hassell worked with the building architect Fitzpatrick+Partners to tweak the plans before construction got under way. This was carried out by Broad Construction Services.

advertisment

Changes included removing internal walls at ground level so visitors at reception could look across and through adjacent hubs and informal spaces. This sets up a feeling of openness that continues on the floors above.

Another change was the introduction of a wide staircase void to connect all levels of the building. This central element provides vertical vistas from one level through to the next, encouraging staff movement between floors. The resulting connectivity promotes the office as one facility, rather than as a set of separate floors.

Glass elevators add to the open aesthetic, while setting services towards the core, and the choice of low desking ensure views right across each floor.

Building on the idea of connection, social hubs, serving casual drinks and cold food, are located beside the stairwell on each floor and there are also informal meeting zones in the same proximity.

The hubs have their own individual aesthetic and also act as wayfinders in a building where the interiors floor-to-floor look quite similar.

With the reception and building services at ground level, floors one to five are a combination of open-plan desking, executive and managerial offices, and meeting rooms. The sixth floor is intended for client engagement, with meeting rooms, executive spaces and training facilities.

All three training rooms have operable walls that pull back to create one large event space. The other side of this level is for staff socialisation and dining facilities. All hot food and dining options for staff are on this top level, encouraging staff to gravitate towards this space, says the designer.

"The decor also facilitates individual disciplines coming together. A motif of joining and interlocking elements runs through the offices. It can be seen, for example, in the geometric forms on the conference rooms, which are much like a 3-D puzzle, and in the plank composition of the joinery on all levels."

Repeating the blade ceilings and a consistent use of eco-friendly eucalyptus veneer add to the sense of connection between floors. To achieve the coveted 5 Star Green Star rating, Hassell addressed everything from indoor light quality, including setting workspaces to the perimeter, to specifying low-VOC surfaces.

In addition, a high material efficiency was achieved, in part by constructing most joinery off site. Other green aspects are super-efficient chilled beam air conditioning, energy-efficient whitegoods, low-flow tapware and the designer's choice of Geca-accredited furniture.

First published date: 27 May 2014

More news from Trends

Credit List

Project WorkZone, Perth
Developer Charter Hall
Architects Fitzpatrick+Partners
Interior designer Hassell, Perth
Construction company Broad Construction Services
Mechanical and electrical engineer Aecom and Norman, Disney & Young
Quantity surveyor Turner & Townsend
Fire consultant Wood & Grieve Engineers
Window and door joinery Sapphire Aluminium Wideline System
Hardware Madinoz door handles, Raven door seals
Blinds Originals 982 by Verosol, Mikor blind pelmet
Tiling Classic Roman Vein cut travertine from Attica Stone
Flooring Striation and Monochrome carpet tile from Interface Flor
Ceiling Slot decorative acoustic ceiling panels and timber slatted ceiling, both by Ultraflex
Veneers Eucalyptus veneer on all joinery, from George Fethers & Co
Paints Dulux
Lighting Thorn, Tom Dixon, Halo, Zumtobel, Luma Lighting
Workstations Custom desks by Zenith Interiors; storage by Castledex
Office chairs Scope task chair by Burgtec
Furniture Style Craft, Table & Chair, Living Edge, Design Farm, Zenith
Kitchen equipment Fisher & Paykel, Smeg, Clark, Simply Stainless