Contract - Interiors Awards 2011: Large Office Winner

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Interiors Awards 2011: Large Office Winner

11 February, 2011

-By Michael Webb


project: One Shelley Street
client: Macquarie Group
location: Sydney, Australia
designer: Clive Wilkinson Architects


When Clive Wilkinson was invited to design the interiors of a new building for the banking and financial services (BFS) of the Macquarie Group, he realized, “They were closer to samurai warriors than city business gents—fast, efficient, rigorous, and driven by a code of ethics.” That response pleased Peter Maher, the freewheeling head of BFS, who wanted to energize his 3,000 troops and show clients “how open our culture is and how we operate and communicate.” The building was to be a catalyst for change, and Eric Veldhoen + Company gave substance to the client’s vision with Activity Based Working, a system the firm pioneered for the Interpolis insurance company in Tilburg.

The Macquarie Group was founded in Sydney in 1970, and it has become Australia’s largest investment bank, with 70 offices in 26 countries. Anthony Henry, Macquarie’s head of workplace design, explains: “We wanted a healthy, sustainable work environment, meeting spaces that would penetrate the entire building, and mobile, follow-me technology that would liberate staff from their desks.”

For Wilkinson, BFS was a fulfillment of his own desire to infuse the workplace with a feeling of creative play. He devised a vertical village of meeting spaces, consisting of 28 pods of different sizes cantilevered from the sides of the atrium. Dubbed “the meeting tree” for the way the pods branch from a trunk of circulation, it puts everyone on display through windows that command vertiginous views of the atrium and out to the harbor. Visitors feel they are floating in space and are energized by the spectacle of people moving up and down the open staircases and beyond the glass walls. Inspired by the traveling cranes that load shipping containers in the docklands, the designer originally proposed an overhead steel gantry that would carry the pods to wherever they currently were needed, but was advised that the rooms didn’t need to move. Card-activated glass doors provide security for the workspaces beyond the meeting tree.

A highlight of each open-plan floor, with its “neighborhoods” of a hundred employees, is a themed plaza. There’s an open square on the ground floor, a dining table to promote social interaction, a library where people can work within book stacks that are simulated by wallpaper, and a garden with real plants. Clive Wilkinson Architects designed most of the furnishings and specified a wide variety of ergonomic seating.

who
Project: One Shelley Street. Client: Macquire Group. Design architect: Clive Wilkinson Architects; Clive Wilkinson, John Meachem, Alexis Rappaport, Ruben Smudde, Neil Muntzel. Executive architect: Woods Bagot; James Calder, Amanda Stanaway, Eleana Yi, Mohammad Khaled, Felice Carlino. Owner’s representative: Anthony Henry / Michael Silman. Project manager: Savills. Builder: Buildcorp Interiors. Workplace consultant: Veldhoen + Company; Eric Veldhoen, Luc Kamperman, Pierre Buijs, Kim Diederen. Graphics consultant: EGG Office; Christian Daniels, Jonathan Mark, Kate Tews. Base building architect: Fitzpatrick + Partners. Technology consultant: Cordless Group LTD. Base building architect: Fitzpatrick + Partners. Builder: Buildcorp Interiors; Brookfield Multiplex Constructions. Services consultants: Norman Disney & Young (communications and security); Lincolne Scott (mechanical, electrical); Advanced Environmental (environmental); Vision Design (lighting); Donnelly Simpson Cleary (hydraulics and fire); Arup (structural and fire). Photographer: Shannon McGrath.

what
Furniture vendor: Haworth Australia Pty. Ltd. Custom furniture: Woodmark. Specialty joinery: Van and Sons.

where
Location: Sydney, Australia. Total Floor Area: 330,000 sq. ft. Number of floors: 10.




Interiors Awards 2011: Large Office Winner

11 February, 2011


Shannon McGrath

project: One Shelley Street
client: Macquarie Group
location: Sydney, Australia
designer: Clive Wilkinson Architects


When Clive Wilkinson was invited to design the interiors of a new building for the banking and financial services (BFS) of the Macquarie Group, he realized, “They were closer to samurai warriors than city business gents—fast, efficient, rigorous, and driven by a code of ethics.” That response pleased Peter Maher, the freewheeling head of BFS, who wanted to energize his 3,000 troops and show clients “how open our culture is and how we operate and communicate.” The building was to be a catalyst for change, and Eric Veldhoen + Company gave substance to the client’s vision with Activity Based Working, a system the firm pioneered for the Interpolis insurance company in Tilburg.

The Macquarie Group was founded in Sydney in 1970, and it has become Australia’s largest investment bank, with 70 offices in 26 countries. Anthony Henry, Macquarie’s head of workplace design, explains: “We wanted a healthy, sustainable work environment, meeting spaces that would penetrate the entire building, and mobile, follow-me technology that would liberate staff from their desks.”

For Wilkinson, BFS was a fulfillment of his own desire to infuse the workplace with a feeling of creative play. He devised a vertical village of meeting spaces, consisting of 28 pods of different sizes cantilevered from the sides of the atrium. Dubbed “the meeting tree” for the way the pods branch from a trunk of circulation, it puts everyone on display through windows that command vertiginous views of the atrium and out to the harbor. Visitors feel they are floating in space and are energized by the spectacle of people moving up and down the open staircases and beyond the glass walls. Inspired by the traveling cranes that load shipping containers in the docklands, the designer originally proposed an overhead steel gantry that would carry the pods to wherever they currently were needed, but was advised that the rooms didn’t need to move. Card-activated glass doors provide security for the workspaces beyond the meeting tree.

A highlight of each open-plan floor, with its “neighborhoods” of a hundred employees, is a themed plaza. There’s an open square on the ground floor, a dining table to promote social interaction, a library where people can work within book stacks that are simulated by wallpaper, and a garden with real plants. Clive Wilkinson Architects designed most of the furnishings and specified a wide variety of ergonomic seating.

who
Project: One Shelley Street. Client: Macquire Group. Design architect: Clive Wilkinson Architects; Clive Wilkinson, John Meachem, Alexis Rappaport, Ruben Smudde, Neil Muntzel. Executive architect: Woods Bagot; James Calder, Amanda Stanaway, Eleana Yi, Mohammad Khaled, Felice Carlino. Owner’s representative: Anthony Henry / Michael Silman. Project manager: Savills. Builder: Buildcorp Interiors. Workplace consultant: Veldhoen + Company; Eric Veldhoen, Luc Kamperman, Pierre Buijs, Kim Diederen. Graphics consultant: EGG Office; Christian Daniels, Jonathan Mark, Kate Tews. Base building architect: Fitzpatrick + Partners. Technology consultant: Cordless Group LTD. Base building architect: Fitzpatrick + Partners. Builder: Buildcorp Interiors; Brookfield Multiplex Constructions. Services consultants: Norman Disney & Young (communications and security); Lincolne Scott (mechanical, electrical); Advanced Environmental (environmental); Vision Design (lighting); Donnelly Simpson Cleary (hydraulics and fire); Arup (structural and fire). Photographer: Shannon McGrath.

what
Furniture vendor: Haworth Australia Pty. Ltd. Custom furniture: Woodmark. Specialty joinery: Van and Sons.

where
Location: Sydney, Australia. Total Floor Area: 330,000 sq. ft. Number of floors: 10.

 


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