New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/9 - Page 90

Project Charter Hall office Location: No 1 Martin Place, Sydney Architect: BVN Donovan Hill Architecture SEA CHANGE An open, transparent office with a floating glass box meeting room and elevated deck reinforces the huge cultural change that has transformed this workplace When you are in the commercial property business, you are in a prime position to notice major trends in the workplace. And so it was for Charter Hall, an Australian company with an office, retail and industrial property portfolio in excess of $11 billion. Joint managing director David Southon says the company was well aware of the move towards activity-based working and investigated the potential for its new Sydney office at No 1 Martin Place. “Although our former building had an open-plan workplace, we were operating over a number of levels that were not well connected,” Southon says. 88 SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT “There was also no link between workstations and the more public parts of the office. It didn’t help that the building was old and tired and did not suit our long-term aspirations.” The company commissioned activity-based work experts at Veldhoen + Company to consult on possibilities f or the Charter Hall workplace, and chose to implement such a model in its new premises, designed by BVN Donovan Hill Architecture. “We had the opportunity to accommodate the office over two connected floors,” Southon says. “But this was not just about creating a much more open and transparent workplace; it was also about Preceding pages:A glass cube suspended above a void increases the drama of the new Charter Hall offices in Sydney. The soffits along the edges of the void feature mirror panels that help to ensure all parts of the office can be seen. These pages:Timber accents provide a warm, welcoming interior. So, too, does the informal entry, which features a concierge, rather than a traditional reception desk.