Knowing the Ropes

Dec 12, 2012
  • Article by Claire Barker
  • Photography by Danial Nash
  • Designer futurespace

Experience and collaboration has led to measurable success in this maritime workplace.

The Futurespace team worked with APP and Graphite to deliver this project for Harbour City Ferries. Harbour City Ferries is the private sector concession operator for ‘Sydney Ferries’. This project came about because the organisation was moving from the Government sector into private sector management; a key part of the project brief was to create an environment that supported this business change.

The project goals were to:
• Create a new space that is reflective of a high quality, customer focused business that will be a platform for cultural change
• Create a contemporary look and feel as well as reference the organisation’s rich, proud maritime history
• Harness the opportunity to forge a new workplace culture with a new public face

The reception is sophisticated and is designed keeping in mind the physical characteristics of the maritime industry. The timber work is inspired by the internal structure and ribbing of a ship, reflecting craftsmanship, warmth and strength. The entry makes a significant statement and visitors get a sense of Harbour City Ferries upon arrival.

To support the working environment of open plan workstations and individual offices a breakout space is provided that also serves as an ‘idea generation area’. This is segregated from the open areas by full height moveable timber shutters, meaning that views and daylight are still accessible and flexibility in the use of this area is maximised. The maritime theme continues via the materiality (rubber for flooring and splashback is used that is the same as that found in actual Sydney ferries), and a galley style kitchen is provided that is both durable and hard working.

The maritime theme is represented in meeting rooms through the use of environmental graphics and with the provision of good quality furniture that sends a message of ‘value’. The main working areas are open, light and collaborative with latitude and longitude text used for room names.

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