Located on Collins Street in Melbourne’s city centre, the workplace combines hints from the Australian city’s iconic laneways with the warmth and vibrancy of a café.

The Australian financial services company AMP wanted a new workplace that physically expressed its commitment to sustainability. It wanted to offer an experience that improves the lives of the people who work there and inspire them to be their best.

A sense of connection

The Hassell design for AMP Melbourne’s workplace took cues from the veins of the city itself, the network of bustling, creative laneways. The concept draws on the connection and interactive nature of these urban alleys to create a workplace full of discovery and meaningful interactions.

Vibrant graphic artworks twist through the workplace’s main thoroughfares, while natural planting and vines snake down the stairwell like a hanging garden, a nod to Melbourne’s urban landscape. The laneways and central staircase foster a sense of community, encouraging new daily rituals of navigation and casual connections and incidental interactions between colleagues and visitors.

The singular, sculptural stair makes a bold statement. A bespoke double void allowed for the switchback stair connection from the central client floor to all adjacent working floors above and below. By using timber on both the handrail and steps the space is made to feel even more natural, warm and inviting – and brings the workplace together as a whole.

Visitors to the working floors are greeted by a centrally-located social neighbourhood which stretches the length of the floorplate. With its collaboration zones, quiet library areas and spaces for social interaction and breakouts, this zone is key in creating a community at the heart of the workspace.

Between this and the agile work-zone, a mid-level soft furniture ‘barrier’ delineates work and play, noting the change in landscape and function and supporting small huddles and quiet collaboration. Digital wayfinding is placed at the entry to this zone and is immediately accessible from the central stair and void.

A united front

Presenting a united front was imperative for AMP in its new workplace. Placing the destination floor centrally through the five-floor stack allowed for multi-functional spaces, client-facing meeting rooms, technology support and wellness areas to be located democratically for all to use.

The client-facing floor also features a destination cafe serviced by a not for profit organisation for all to enjoy – whether clients arriving for meetings or employees breaking away from the work floors to socialise and re-energise together, the iconic mix of Melbourne’s laneway and cafe culture was brought to life in a place where people can mix and mingle.

Health plus wellbeing

AMP and Hassell worked together to create a truly healthy workplace, somewhere that goes above and beyond to offer employees opportunities to work, rest, re-energise, and share ideas. Hassell designed the space for the modern employee, who is increasingly seeking a healthy connection between work and home. By including specific spaces for meditation and retreat, the workplace sends a strong message to employees that their wellbeing is important.

This connection to Biophilia – the connection between people and the natural world – was a strong theme for the AMP Melbourne workplace. Greenery, colour and diffused light all work cohesively to create moments to connect to nature – to reflect, take respite and feel calm. Ultimately, the new workplace reflected the way in which AMP’s employees work together and for their customers – with integrity, honesty and passion.

Project: AMP Melbourne, Workplace
Design Studio: Hassell
Photo Credit: Nicole England
Website: hassellstudio.com