Ecological restoration is at the heart of the design by Sydney-based architectural practice AJC for their client’s new headquarters in Yennora, Western Sydney, creating opportunities for collaboration and connection to nature within the workplace.

The five-storey office building for Multigate Medical Products, one of Australia and New Zealand's leading manufacturers and suppliers of medical consumables, topped out last month and is due for completion in 2025. The 4.58-hectare site includes a vast mechanised manufacturing facility and the company’s headquarters with an allocated on-grade carpark of around 1,600m². Yennora (meaning 'walking place'), originally home to the Cabrogal people, has been a heavily industrialised district since the 19th century, and is currently undergoing renewal as part of Western Sydney's growth.

AJC’s design for Multigate’s new office flips the typical 'business park' model of a commercial building set in a carpark, instead restoring natural landscape to the site, and creating adaptable car parking space. The building includes two office levels with a total area of 6,000m² and a 400m² central garden atrium, while car parking is relegated to the top three building levels behind a perforated metal veil. There is significant space for ecological restoration, with landscape architects, Realm Studios reintroducing some of the area's endangered Cumberland Plains Woodlands.

"Because the building envelope sits adjacent to a remnant watercourse, we advocated against the conventional office in a carpark approach, instead accommodating cars over three rooftop levels and reviving a natural ecosystem, which gives back a 10-metre regenerated bushland corridor to the streetscape," explains Jim Koopman, AJC studio director.

AJC's design considers the client's future growth, as the carpark levels can be converted if required to an additional 1,500m² of office space and 2,000m² of rooftop gardens, as reliance on motor cars declines in a decarbonising economy.

Internally, a central atrium with a skylight infuses natural light above internal garden areas with a reimagined watercourse meandering through, while the materiality draws on the Feng Shui elements of fire, earth, metal, wood and water.

All workspaces are within eight metres of a window, atrium or wintergarden for access to daylight and a view of garden or sky. Fresh air is drawn into the open floorplan and out through a thermal chimney in the atrium, naturally ventilating the office.

"This is a very health-focussed workplace. In among the internal gardens are meeting and breakout spaces and water stations. The outdoor terrace (500m²) has herb gardens and beehives, there's a staff cafeteria with healthy international food, and there are well-equipped kitchenettes for those wishing to prepare their own meals," says Scott Norton, AJC studio director, Interiors.