The project for the Macquarie Group consists of 330,000 SF of office space for 3,000 employees with associated restaurant, health club and café spaces in a new building in Sydney, Australia. Working with Woods Bagot as executive architect, and Fitzpatrick + Partners, architect for the base building, Clive Wilkinson Architects implemented a dynamic design solution that populates the building’s 10 story Atrium with cantilevered meeting pods. The office workspace utilizes an innovative ‘Activity Based Working’ solution (ABW), developed by Dutch consultants Veldhoen + Company, which allows a dynamic and flexible collaboration platform for the financial business.
Rethinking the traditional corporate office, where typically the public accessed areas are restricted to the ground level, Clive Wilkinson Architects developed a design strategy that opens up the building vertically, activating the Atrium and bringing transparency and user interaction to the heart of Macquarie.
The typical guest relations meeting spaces are distributed across the Atrium, like a vertical Greek village, allowing Macquarie guests a strong visual connection with the workplace activity. These cantilevered pods form the “Meeting Tree” and are accessed via an open staircase which provides an animated vertical connection and links them all together. The visible energy of people circulating and interacting in the highly transparent Atrium underscores Macquarie’s revitalized brand as a forward thinking and highly collaborative company. Surrounding the Atrium, the ABW work system is structured in neighborhoods of approximately 100 people, which provide the employees with a variety of worksettings. Since these specifically address the variety of daily tasks performed, productivity is enhanced. And, as everyone is mobile, flexibility and collaboration are increased.
In addition to specific collaborative settings, themed “Plazas” are stacked vertically on each floor. The plazas are based on archetypes of human interaction, and they give a unique character to each floor with special collaborative settings and gathering spaces - formal and informal. Through this open architecture and flexible technology, tools are provided that enable and empower the employees to work wherever and whenever they want, essentially creating one fluid work environment. This initiates an experience where empowerment leads to employees identifying with their environment, thus creating the feel of a greater community, which promotes collaboration and further empowers the employees. The business benefit of mobile working is the ability to ensure that the space operates with a higher intensity of usage (approximately 80%) rather than the typical 40% efficiency in traditional offices. The energy level in the office is correspondingly richer. One Shelley St has been designed to the highest levels of Green Star or LEED efficiency, benefitting from radical technologies like harbor water cooling, chilled beams and zone controlled lighting. A large percentage of furniture was adapted and re-used, but most significantly, ABW working allows a huge saving in resource efficiency, real estate and operating costs. One Shelley St has truly positioned itself as a model for the new global sustainable office building.
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