Australian Government - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Occupying a mid-rise level of an existing office tower, this new office fitout – for a federal government department – creatively uses materials to establish a highly flexible workplace environment that caters to both communal collaborative work and individual focused effort.
It was vital to the success of this workplace, occupied by a federal government department, that the design’s layout and detailing delivered solutions to promote workplace productivity, amenity, collaboration and innovation. Staff routinely need to work with different people, including visitors to the office, and in various modes throughout the day. Occupying a full floor on a mid-rise level of 100 Creek Street in Brisbane, it was also critical that the design responded to the fierce heat on the building’s western facade.
To operate successfully, the office needed be thoroughly comfortable, flexible and invoke creativity. There is a strong delineation between different types of space, seen through the creative use of materials, that provides both structure and flexibility to the workplace. A delicate wrapping of warm timber threads through the public arrival spaces and collaborative zones, creating an environment that feels welcoming and supportive while shielding inhabitants from the harsh western sun. In contrast, the individual workspace areas are afforded a level of spartan simplicity, stripped back to allow the character of the building to show and encourage deep concentration.
The selection of a natural, renewable material to be the unmistaken hero of the design sets this workplace apart. The material’s inherent warmth steps this workplace away from the typical cool, commercial environment and instead into something that more resembles a home. Detailed joinery elements enrich the everyday moments that form the routine of daily office life – such as welcoming visitors and holding staff meetings – as well as more intimate, collaborative meetings of special importance through an offering of warm timber touch points. There is a strong sense of cohesion, which in turn creates a happy and productive working environment.
Ceiling openings have been created above each of three staff collaboration lounge spaces, exposing the building services normally concealed above. The intention here is for this design device to act as a reminder that behind every finished creation and every piece of innovation there is a multitude of unseen working elements that must first function effectively. This applies equally to every product of human creativity and innovation, from lines of code in a software application to the inner workings of aircraft, solar arrays and mobile devices, to name but a few examples.