- Article by Online Editor
A new $9.8 million office fitout designed by BVN has opened in Sydney with a driving concept of wellness and innovation.
“The design approach makes conscious use of passive design as part of a strategy to encourage movement – both for fitness and to promote unplanned conversations and collaboration. Fundamental to the design is the belief that the built environment can directly affect our health – making employee wellbeing a top priority,” states Reini Otter, executive general manager commercial and industry at Frasers Property.
The 3700-square metre space is spread across two levels and is one of the first in Australia designed to target both 6-Star Green Star Interior (Green Building Council) and WELL certifications.
BVN took the company’s corporate values of ‘real places for real people’ as a starting point for the design, while the brief included key principles such as creating authentic places, providing choice and support for various activities, enabling seamless connection with technology and bringing the customer to the heart of the business.
Ninotschka Titchkosky, principal at BVN, explains the design resolution, “We needed to bring their workplace into alignment with the way they do business, which is relationships based.
“Physically connecting all the business units and project partners through a significant new double storey ‘town hall’ space provides a central focus to the office. This space allows new opportunities to emerge for the way Frasers Property can do business both formally and informally, but importantly in an authentic and transparent manner. The Café, The Lounge, The Steps, terrace, mobile trees, large scale projection and large meeting rooms with ‘garage doors’ are fundamental elements of this central space.”
Ninotschka continues, “All aspects of the space are designed to encourage interaction, such as removing bulky built elements from around the core and replacing them with mobile tables, white boards and short throw projectors to reduce distance when circulating the floor, while still respecting the need for quiet work zones and booths that enable concentrated work. Workstations are not traditionally planned on a grid but placed in a way that encourages pathways through the space and serendipitous interaction.”
Other key features that have been implemented to encourage wellness in the workplace include initiatives for daily fruit consumption and nutritional tips, a health and wellness library, facilities to encourage cycling to work, indoor plants and trees (up to three metres high) to improve air quality and natural light views across the entire floor plate.
Some of the more subtle design features also facilitate health and well-being – a single entry point for all staff to encourage mingling, and designated pathways that make all employees walk through the ‘town hall’ space to get to their desks, again promoting staff interaction and impromptu chance meetings.