HASSEL has been working with ANZ Bank for over a decade on a several workplace projects in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Their latest collaboration involves the new head office for the Australian state of New South Wales at ANZ Tower, in Sydney. The Sydney location is an evolution of previous ANZ workplaces designed by HASSELL, geared to foster collaboration by different business units and team, as well as settings for individual, focused work.
The design created by the award winning studio is flexible, making it easy to accommodate changing business requirements or individual transactions and projects. ‘ANZ’s experience is that greater connection and flexibility in its workplaces creates new connections and relationships among its people, unlocking new business opportunities.’
“Connection and flexibility is commonly achieved by creating visibility from floor to floor. At the bank’s global headquarters in Melbourne, ANZ Centre, for example, the defining feature is a large central atrium with staircase access throughout. Employees on any one floor can easily see and connect with people on other floors”, says HASSELL.
The design for the ANZ Sydney location was adapted to accommodate the relatively small floor plates and the height of the building. HASSELL introduced a series of intimate, three-storey pocket atriums, that provide visual, and physical links between floors connected through open staircases.
The result is an office tower with connected, transparent, campus-style amenity – a new paradigm in workplace design in towers. The new paradigm was only possible because ANZ involved HASSELL from a very early stage of the project.
HASSELL was not responsible for the base building design, but we were able to influence it. Because we understood ANZ’s objectives for the workplace, we were able to work with the base building architects FJMT and the developer, Grocon, to ensure the tower could deliver them. Without our involvement it is unlikely the building would have had pocket atriums.
– Rob Backhouse – HASSELL designer
Communal zones, with a mix of meeting spaces and diverse work settings were placed at the top, bottom and around the edges of each pocket atrium, making interaction between employees a breeze. ‘Institutional bankers, who traditionally worked in private offices, are now working flexibly – a first for ANZ and, arguably, the financial services industry’, says HASSELL Each floor houses four distinct ‘neighbourhoods’ with social hubs at their heart, with each neighbourhood offering different working options. Employees have the option of working in more private spaces, or meet in shared areas for collaborative tasks.
ANZ implemented a comprehensive change management program to introduce Sydney staff to flexible working before ANZ Tower was completed. This program was based around a HASSELL designed Experience Centre. This was a flexible workspace that different teams were based in for several weeks at a time. Business units used the centre to trial new kinds of work settings and technologies.It allowed employees to experience new ways of working and created the opportunity for genuine feedback. Many employees did not want to go back to more traditional offices after experiencing flexible working.
Over the decade it has been working with ANZ, HASSELL has collaborated with workplace strategists DEGW, now known as AECOM Strategy Plus, on most of the projects it has designed for the bank.
Discipline: Interior Design
Expertise: Commercial and Workplace
Scale: 30,000 m²
Location: Sydney, Australia
Collaborations: Frost / AECOM Strategy Plus / F JMT / Grocon
Photography: Earl Carter
*All images and information courtesy of HASSELL.