AECOM’s Perth office is in close proximity to public transport hubs, both rail and bus. The 8,000m2 workplace is located on levels 3 to 7 of the GPO built in 1917. Each level is connected with stairwells and common workspaces, which are distributed throughout the space to encourage staff movement.
The use of the historic Perth GPO demonstrates how re-use of a space can positively contribute to Perth’s sense of place. Faced with local building materials, the structure has a neo-classical façade, composed of columns, loggias and balconies. The building has a 1,500m2 floorplate, which is organised around a central glazed lightwell.
AECOM requested the highest of sustainability initiatives but also wanted a design that was responsive to workplace unity, transparency, functionality, community and innovation. There is an understanding that great physical environments enhance wellbeing, cultural change and service outcomes. AECOM wanted a workspace supporting these principles. The designers had the challenge of negotiating various heritage conservation requirements but managed to design the first building in Western Australia to be awarded a green star for interior design.
AECOM’s support for a healthy workplace resulted in the adoption of the following design decisions:
- Encourage high levels of natural lighting.
- Arrange open plan work areas in a contiguous U-type configuration, with circulation around a central light well.
- Provide a continuous workspace intersecting with libraries, meeting and utility rooms.
- Arrange the reception, meeting and collective facilities floor area vertically.
- Connect common areas through internal stairs.
- Remove ceilings and rearrange services to maximise the exposure of the existing structure and enhance the heritage and spatial character of the building.
- Methodically integrate environmental initiatives to achieve a 5-Star Green Star rating.
- Place meeting rooms and common areas in close proximity to the existing balconies.
- Locate social/cafe areas to open onto the external courtyard.
- Connect internal stairs and bridges to allow integration with the common areas on different floors.
- BVN Donovan Hill
A well-designed building provides health, economic, environmental, social and use benefits.