Workplace Connection – by Gray Puksand
28 Jul 2019
It’s no secret that the workplace is changing, with new generations of workers wanting more from the office spaces that occupy their days. Flexibility and agility are now at the forefront when it comes to designing spaces, with companies and employees recognising the benefits of working beyond the traditional desk format.
And it’s not just the functional aspects of a space, style matters too – an aesthetically- pleasing office can be just as important. The recently-completed Medibank office in Sydney’s CBD has managed to tick all those boxes, fitting the needs of employees and the company, while carving its own personality through design.
Following a large-scale office project for its Melbourne headquarters, the Sydney outpost also needed an update. The brief was to ensure that being physically removed from the rest of the team in interstate wasn’t a barrier with Sydney-siders feeling a seamless connection to colleagues, while also showcasing its personality.
Gray Puksand Architects responded by creating a flexible space that catered to employees’ needs. The new office offers both seated and standing desks, allowing employees to work with whatever suits them most, with wireless connection enabling them to move around and work in the communal spaces. Through utilising technology such as new video conferencing facilities and projection set-ups in social spaces, that much-needed connection to Melbourne that they sought can now be achieved.
Technology aside, the look and feel of the office was important to Medibank, with the team wanting to reference Sydney’s unique characteristics. The bamboo-lined walls, tan leather sofas and deep emerald green found in seating, the marble-topped reception desks and fresh plants interspersed throughout are a reference to Sydney’s coastline. Working closely with the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Cultural Heritage Association, Medibank made it a priority to respect the Traditional Owners of the land within the development of its George Street office. The meeting rooms throughout the two floors were named with Indigenous elements in mind. Aboriginal owned business, Dreamtime Art, also supplied the artworks in the space of the new city office.
Juxtaposed with the exposed, industrial- style ceiling - a nod to the city’s rich industrial past - the office is modern, full of texture and has its own personality – without detracting from the work at hand. The brushed gold Zip HydroTap is used throughout the social and communal areas, adding to this style-led approach. Not only does it add another dimension to the design, but by delivering instant filtered boiling, chilled or sparkling water, employees can stay hydrated while having the convenience of having exactly what they need at the touch of a button.
The luxurious touches continue with terrazzo marble topping the kitchen counters and buttery soft leather used in the communal seating area, making this not just a place of work, but a place that’s inspiring, visually stimulating and puts its employees comfort first.