Carpe Diem Community, International Towers

  • 2020

  • Architectural
    Interior Design

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

International Towers

Designed In:


This is a uniquely progressive, commercial working environment of small-scale tenancies, created to provide small, high-growth enterprises with a world-class, sustainably-designed workspace that enables flexibility, productive utilisation of resources and capital, higher levels of wellness and talent retention, and rare opportunities to collaborate and benefit from a highly-curated, vibrant ecosystem.

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Image: Richard Glover
Image: The Gallery
Image: Richard Glover
Image: Richard Glover
Image: Richard Glover
Image: Richard Glover
Image: Richard Glover
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  • There was no formal brief. The project was birthed from a robust conversation between a fund manager and a design leader, exploring how to solve the complex, commercial, environmental and societal challenges of the next decades while embracing emerging opportunities of an increasingly collaborative, on-demand economy. The consensus challenge was to use design as a tool to unlock the potential of smaller progressive enterprises by creating a unique, sustainable workplace and community culture to support high performance and optimise wellness, incorporating intrinsic human needs, new technologies and collaborative management – a commercial environment which simply did not exist for these enterprises.

  • Set over two levels of Tower Two, International Towers, Barangaroo, the Carpe Diem Community is a commercial ecosystem supporting ten custodian businesses of 20-50 people. The solution provides pre-fitted, 6 Star Green Star workspaces, and a suite of diverse, specialised, on-demand activity and communal spaces which support transparency, serendipitous collaboration and growth, and unprecedented opportunities for genuine agility in both business function and individual behaviours. The design solution is founded on ethical and sustainable provenance of components, and a deliberate intent on motivating behavioural change at an organisation and individual level, by using agility and community to influence growth opportunities.

  • The design is a watershed for Australian commercial property, creating a new tiering model of workspace specifically for smaller, dynamic businesses. The community of tech-enabled workspaces addresses fundamental pain-points, reducing lease footprints, establishment and occupancy costs while simultaneously nurturing growth. The design extends the concept of agile working beyond the confines of an organisation’s operations and physical tenancy by enabling unprecedented flexibility, transparency and community collaboration within unique, inspiring settings. The design eliminates unethical and costly fitout obsolescence at end of leases. Positive workplace behaviours have effortlessly transitioned within the new model with tenants contributing to community vitality and culture.

  • The design is based on a strategic framework that combines human values, business needs, psychological impacts of physical environment, socialising work cultures and bespoke digital interactivity. It’s a stimulating place for innovation and creative thinking, enabling personal and organisational wellbeing and a powerful sense of belonging and community. ‘The Companionway’ is a pivotal symbol of connectedness for the Carpe Diem community. A significant departure from traditional stairway connections within the vertical village, it provides for informal working and socialisation, and community events. Meticulous planning and application of biophilic principles have optimised the effects of sun movement throughout the day, capturing it in shared community spaces to enable equitable access by the whole of community with morning and afternoon settings framed by immersive, natural planting arbours. Promenades on north/south and east/west axis cleverly enable intuitive navigation to natural light and vistas at each turn to achieve psychological wellbeing and orientation. Glazed panels between tenancies increases connectedness between individuals and organisations and significantly increases views and natural light access. This is a significant market innovation and its impact is manifest. Rotating art installations and locker bank murals promote indigenous artists and provide intellectual and aesthetic references that enrich the community’s ‘place creation’.