Sustainable personality for Aus engineers

Duncan Bainbridge
Tuesday 24 Mar 2009

HASSELL take on the interior design of Built Environs' headquarters

Leading multi-disciplined building and engineering company Built Environs required a new head office design that showcased the full spectrum of the company’s capabilities. To be spread over two floors of a dated 1980s-era building, it was to aim for a Five Star Green Star rating for Office Interiors and needed to be approved and then built within a few months. Architects HASSELL had a challenge on their hands.

In order to provide a professional and dynamic workspace while projecting a strong sense of personality, HASSELL worked closely with Built Environs’ own design team, construction managers and project managers, undertaking in-depth research into reusable materials and constructability along the way. This process saved time, money and most importantly prevented material waste going into landfill.

Adaptable spaces were a key component of the design. To encourage collaboration within and across teams, the number of private offices was minimised. Likewise, the height of the dividers between desks was reduced to improve sightlines through the office, while retaining individual workstation privacy. A variety of different-sized meeting rooms, hot desk spaces, two kitchens, a library and large breakout space containing a Fußball table, pool table and wide screen TV all contribute to an interesting and cohesive office space that encourages open communication and a sense of engagement.

Part of the design brief involved creating themed meeting rooms that championed a particular capability of the company. The company’s building pedigree is highlighted by a large ‘plywood box’ meeting room, where plywood has been applied externally and internally to create a box-like effect (representative of worksite materials). The juxtaposition of the ‘raw’ industrial look of the plywood with the latest AV technology creates an inspiring meeting space that draws the eye up from the ground level entrance foyer.

Other themes include a ‘pallet room’ created out of recycled materials pallets, the ‘pipe room’, where rendered CAD pipe engineering drawings have been printed at large scale and applied to the outside of the room to create a strong graphic that draws the eye across the rank and file of the open plan workstations, representing industrial and mechanical engineering capability. Civil engineering is represented by a road rubber-clad ‘road room’, complete with line markings running floor, wall and ceiling.

The fit out has been designed to meet the requirements of the Five Star Green Star Office Interior v1.1 accreditation, which Built Environs will be submitting in due course.

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