ENERGEX is one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing organizations, working in a range of roles to supply electricity to South East Queensland. The new ENERGEX workplace brings together a number of divisions and groups, which were currently dispersed throughout Brisbane, to create an open, collaborative work environment. This move is a driver for cultural change within the workplace, improving productivity and efficiency, and creating a new direction for the business. Located on the fringe of Brisbane’s CBD, the design of the new six level headquarters, based on a Design Brief also developed by BVN, provides large flexible floorplates (4,500sqm), organized around an open lift core and 3 large atrium spaces within the centre spine of the building.
The workplace supports the flow of knowledge and fosters greater collaboration within and between each of the organisation’s divisions, by creating strong visual and physical connections, and high levels of transparency throughout the work and meeting spaces. High energy spaces, such as meeting rooms, café/breakout spaces, and tea areas, are clustered around the edge of the three atrium spaces, which are also activated by carefully located sculptural staircases, promoting connectivity between different levels. Movement within the workplace is organised around a series of major and minor node points and destinations, providing clear legibility within the large floorplates.
Work settings are developed from a “kit-of-parts” approach, supporting a range of different work styles – from contact centre employees to the planners and designers – with flexibility for future adaption. With no individual offices, a series of quiet rooms, meeting rooms, and support spaces such as resource rooms, are strategically located to create smaller “communities” ranging from smaller teams, to groups and divisions, whilst maintaining the flow of space and the flexibility of the large floorplates. A number of unique spaces such as a gym, credit union, library, contact centre, control room (which controls electricity distribution) and copy services are included within the workplace. The Network Operations and Customer Services divisions accommodate day-to-day activities, as well as being designed to function in times of emergency such as major storm events.
Materials were selected to reflect the nature of ENERGEX as an organisation; with timber battening crafted from recycled power-line poles – a crucial component to the delivery of the organisation’s product. The colour scheme and graphical representation of each floor reflects the varying geographic nature of the company’s operating regions such as industry and city. The design of the workplace is focused on a number of environmentally sustainable initiatives, including working towards a 6 Star Green Star As Built rating, which will reflect not only in the way the workplace is built, but the way in which the spaces are experienced and used.Location: Newstead, Australia
Architect: BVN Architecture
Inside Entry: 2011 Photograph: Christopher Frederick Jones – CFJ Photography