international studio HASSELL has completed the design of a new office for the rapidly expanding infrastructure company, transurban, in melbourne, australia. having previously worked together in 2015, the latest project focuses on creating an urban workplace that embodies the spirit of the business. by merging technology, nature, and community, the space intends to reflect the fabric of the modern cities transurban services.
all images © tom blachford
the project occupies eight levels of the newly built tower five in melbourne’s collins square precinct. upon entering, visitors are greeted by impressive floor to ceiling electronic screens. the design by HASSELL also features tree beds inserted into the floor mimicking a city footpath, dramatic circular stairs that punch through the levels, and open portholes in the floor to encourage transparency.
scott walker, HASSELL principal and design lead on the project, said that transurban’s new office displays a shift in the perception of what workplaces can represent. ‘far from being a monotonous interior, the new workplace reflects the diversity and aspirations of our cities. in transurban, traditional corporate design has disintegrated to reflect a greater connection to, and understanding of, the cities the organisation services and supports,’ he said.
transurban’s new office is designed with a strong notion of community through collaboration zones. like popular hangout spots or city squares, these areas are full of people and buzzing with energy. situated on raised platforms to highlight their importance within the space, the collaboration zones are also the landing space of the cascading stairs that punch through the levels, a deliberate positioning choice to increase interaction between staff and strengthen connections.
transparency also plays a significant role in enhancing a sense of community within this workplace. the ability to have a sense of who is around establishes a connection between the floors. HASSELL built transparency into the design with the introduction of portholes that are literally windows through to the floors above or below. some portholes are complete openings for viewing, while others located in thoroughfares have frosted glass covers that provide a hint of the overhead activity.
unallocated desks support fluidity in the way teams and staff move across floors, nooks, booths, lounges and work bays, are arranged as a ‘village’ of rooms, and reinforce the connection to its urban setting. the diversity of work styles not only mirrors the breadth of transurban’s footprint upon our cities but also reflects the diverse ways in which people work.
‘in our cities, nature plays an important part in offsetting the harshness of the concrete jungle – parks, streetscapes, nature strips, all provide respite and promote wellbeing. similarly for transurban, greenery was imperative for their new workplace, with an abundance of planters and hanging pots visible from any point within the space,’ walker continues. ‘HASSELL worked closely with the base building construction to accommodate an internal streetscape by insetting tree beds into the floor, mimicking a city footpath. the greenery paired with the timber vaulted ceiling and blackened steel joinery amplifies the down-to-earth nature of the space,’ he said.
project type: workplace
location: melbourne, australia
photography: tom blachford
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edited by: lynne myers | designboom