The brief for Rio Tinto’s new 25,000 sqm Regional Centre in Brisbane was to create a global landmark accommodation that supports their commitment to their people’s safety and wellbeing, fosters a sense of community and supports their business needs now and into the future.

Geyer’s design solution addressed each of these elements and created an innovative, flexible, environmentally sustainable, safe and healthy workplace for 2000 Rio Tinto employees.

A curved central staircase, inspired by a mining 'auger' (a drill) cuts through the building encouraging mobility across levels, and fostering connections between employees, departments and projects. Work floor plates are designed to have a collaborative heart, encouraging interaction and knowledge sharing. Level 16 acts as the heart of the entire space and has been entirely dedicated to Rio Tinto’s employees. Within level 16 is “The Green’ a communal area featuring a range of different spaces for meeting, taking a break, mixing with colleagues, holding workshops or wellness and social activities. The seating has been surrounded by living hedges to bring greenery to the floor.

A parent and family room provides a flexible option for carers. Collaborative destinations such as this created a significant shift for the workplace, creating a user focus in an environment that inspires staff and enables them to deliver business excellence. The broader community is engaged through an open and accessible lobby.

Geyer used a light installation to provide ‘insight’ in the Rio Tinto workplace and to assist with transparency between the community and the company. The overarching design strategy is also inspired by Rio Tinto’s products - which begin life in the ground and are extracted and moulded into commodities used globally.

The idea of “Earth to Sky” to explored throughout the workplace – the aim being to give all employees a greater understanding and connection to Rio Tinto’s core business and operations. Geyer’s design strategy was to connect Rio’s people to the company’s sites through an exploration of mine sites, landscape and topography as embedded in architecture, materiality, graphics and signage. The Regional Centre is targeting a Green Building Council of Australia Green Star – Office Interiors 6 star rating.

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