ANZ itself probably needs no introduction – a bank with its origins in NZ and Australia, it’s now a strong player on the international finance scene, and its Sydney headquarters, a skyscraper on Castlereagh Street in the city CBD, reflects this status. Built by Melbourne-based developer Grocon and designed by Hassell to house the corporation’s institutional banking, wealth management, private banking and other business units in one place, the project was completed to schedule in April 2013 and is now one of the most distinctive buildings in the city skyline.
As a competitor with global investment banks, ANZ sees its office design as a key component in the fight to recruit and retain the best employees, as well as encourage productivity and innovation. Accordingly, their corporate headquarters has been designed by Hassell to encourage flexibility and co-operation among the bank’s workers, while at the same time providing enclosed spaces for individual or more focused work.
Having a blend of staff from such a variety of areas across the bank’s business presents a great opportunity for mixing both within and between business units. Great ideas can spark even from casual conversations between teams, so in order to facilitate a sense of connection; Hassel created a design which promoted visibility between floors. This was based around a large central atrium with staircase access throughout. Each floor also consists of four “neighbourhoods”, offering a variety of work spaces and a social hub at the centre. This is quite an innovative design in a high-rise building, and Hassell and Grocon worked together during its construction to enable its achievement. In addition to this, there are also a variety of open, communal spaces placed throughout the headquarters to allow space for gatherings, either by chance or organisation.
The design also expresses the goal of untethering employees from a fixed desk and enabling them to move between different types of work spaces and even different floors. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no room allowed for privacy or reflection; ANZ also acknowledges the need for its workers to have quiet space for tasks that require focus and concentration, and each “neighbourhood” provides these. However, the overall sense of openness and transparency is still preserved with the use of glass and aluminium partitioning, supplied by Criterion Industries.
All the thought and effort ANZ, Hassell and Grocon have put into their fit-out and design seems to have paid off, with employee feedback indicating that most did not want to go back to a traditional office style after their experience of the new headquarters.
Criterion was excited to take part in supplying the Platinum 90, Platinum 105 and Platinum 120 Aluminium Partition Systems throughout the fit-out. These four systems are universal, meaning they can be used together in one fitout; this allows incredible flexibility to your design and building process, while at the same time providing a consistent, streamlined finish. As well, the frames are available in a wide variety of colours and finishes to suit the decor of your overall office design.