ANZ Centre is one of the most open and permeable banking headquarters in the world. Rarely – if ever before – has a bank invited the public into the heart of its workplace. This ‘urban campus’ is the next generation in design for collaboration and flexibility with most floor space dedicated to shared, interactive activity to enable the incidental connections that are so critical to today’s knowledge economy. Incorporating a raft of first-time green initiatives, the building is also a global environmental and sustainability benchmark.The new landmark building is located in Melbourne’s Docklands. Its fluid forms are inspired by the riverside setting and the natural external colour palette ranges from earth tones at the ground level to light blue sky references at upper levels.
Permeability and public space
ANZ Centre houses 6,500 people – as many as a small town. Despite its large scale, ANZ Centre provides an opportunity to make small-scale engagements with its local community and operates as a permeable extension of the existing urban precinct. Its ‘urban campus’ design centres around a publicly accessible ground floor ‘common’. The inclusion of this permeable public space within the workplace brings stakeholders and the community into the organisation’s heart, creating a lively ground-level hub including cafes, public art and a visitor centre. Locating the work floors around the central atria maintains a high level of visual connection between the public ‘common’ and the workplace – reinforcing the day-to-day connection between the ANZ population and the community it serves. This demonstrates a bold new direction for a banking institution seeking to balance the need for security and transparency.
Flexibility, diversity and engagement
A cross section of employees – including graduates and younger generation employees – helped shape the design. Extensive consultation and research led by HASSELL, DEGW and The Future Laboratory (London) helped ANZ envision their future workplace to ensure the longevity of its design and meet employee and community expectations for environmental social sustainability.
The result – a flexible, open plan office space – is designed to inspire ANZ’s diverse workplace community today and anticipate its future needs. Expansive floorplates are configured to maximise daylight penetration, promote collaboration, accommodate varied work styles and provide flexibility. Approximately 55 per cent of the work area is shared interactive, collaborative space with the remaining 45 per cent dedicated desk environment.
Urban design principles were used to activate ‘spaces between places’ – juxtaposing noisy and quiet, hot and cold, territorial and non territorial spaces to create flow and vibrancy. Five distinct hub types are distributed across 44 individual hub spaces that connect quiet working zones.
One of the world’s greenest buildings
ANZ Centre has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star sustainability rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. On-site energy production is provided through three key technologies: a tri-generation system; a rooftop photovoltaic array; and six vertical axis wind turbines. A comprehensive water management and recycling system is among other key green initiatives.
Interior designers: HASSELL
Scale: NLA: 85,500 square metres | GFA: 130,000 square metres | Floorplates: 9,833 – 6,500 square metres
Sustainability: 6 Star Green Star Office Design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia
Photographers: Earl Carter, Peter Bennetts
Awards: World Architecture Festival 2010 – Interiors and Fit Out Overall Winner