Challenged with creating a new flexible workplace able to accommodate over 1000 staff, Australian Unity engaged Australian architecture and interiors firm Bates Smart to design a space providing connection between people, heritage and community. The hub-style workplace sits at the base of a tower on Melbourne’s Spring Street behind the façade of Mission Hall, a heritage building that was designed in the 1880’s by Bates, Peebles and Smart.
The design for the new headquarters focuses on wellness and enabling an agile, technology reliant workforce. Bates Smart created three floor ‘villages’, all connected via a large stairwell and void.
Socially engineered lower floors encourage collaboration, innovation and an engagement between people, to nurture a sense of purpose and personal relationships. The new workspace is designed for flexibility and adaptability. It encourages movement between intimate spaces to broader areas including a café and retail zone, training spaces, meeting and dining areas, and a two-floor amphitheatre acting as a village square.
A large array of comfortable and inviting indoor and outdoor spaces contribute to the project’s WELL Building Index aspirations and underpin the collaborative aims for the work environment.