Sitting quietly above the luxurious new Audi and Maserati showroom at the junction of Melbourne’s Swanston and Victoria Streets is the new Victorian base and offices of Brookfield Muliplex.
Elenberg Fraser designed the building for four different tenants and as such the architecture is diverse, segmented and reflective of each of the brand identities in different areas.
The luxury of the Maserati shopfront and the industrious finishes of the Audi showroom are easily noticed from the street but the character of the Brookfield Multiplex tenancy is better seen from inside the building and is attributable to Woods Bagot.
The Brookfield Multiplex offices can be seen above the Audi and Maserati showroom at 501 Swanston Street. Photography by Peter Clarke.
As interior designers, Woods Bagot was briefed to create an innovative work typology through internal layout and to emulate the Brookfield brand identity with their selection of finishes. The fully-open 2,400sqm office space reflects Brookfield’s adoption of the new typology of workplace design, one that Woods Bagot says encourages greater interaction and efficiency of work flow.
Upon entering the offices on the building’s third floor, visitors are immediately greeted by one of the more striking elements of the fitout, a curving staircase that rises through an Oak Stringbark-clad portal and finishes on the fourth floor where client meeting suites spill out onto the external rooftop terrace.
The third floor suites, workstations and other facilities all articulate from a figure eight pedestrian way that moves in an infinite loop throughout the various work spaces, connecting workers and integrating work functions.
Woods Bagot says that the staircase and pedestrian loop—as well as much of the rest of the office design—borrow inspiration from the Mobius strip, an influence easily noticed on the staircase form and upon viewing the floorplan, but also visible within the curving walls and ceiling lining.
“The mobius wraps the social heart of the workplace, around which an infinite loop of movement is generated, creating and containing energy and encouraging use by all,” says Woods Bagot Associate Kylie Holton.
“Circulation of the floorplate is key. Each space flows seamlessly with the next creating a malleability of zones with convergence in the social spaces. Floor plates are easy to navigate with a spiral stair connecting the upper and lower levels.”
Light wells are dotted around the office spaces and provide natural light into the deep floor plates. But for when natural light is less abundant, Woods Bagot specified a variety of themed artificial lighting choices for different parts of the office.
For example, Long Zumbotel Mirel T16 lighting units noticeably match the linearity of the pipes and ducting that have been left exposed above the work stations, while the round geometry of the Zumbotel Onda units complement the effect of the perforated ceilings in other areas of the office.
The rest of the fitout is predominantly paired back but splashes of colourful artwork, placement of designer furniture, Oak Stringybark cabinetry and feature pendant lights, just to name a few, do add character to the otherwise reductive interior palette.
In recognising Brookfield Multiplex’s 50+ years in construction, Woods Bagot says the construction firm’s new workplace supports the business’s collaborative styles of working, offering staff an inspiring and dynamic place to work.
Woods Bagot has delivered an open, light-filled and connected workspace, and has dressed up a budget conscious interior with carefully placed and selected products.
RC&S Rugs Carpet & Design, Ege Micro Broadloom Colour: Grey
Gibbon Group, Tretford Goats Hair tiles
Knauf, Cleaneo - Circular 8/15/20R
Zumbotel Mirel T16
Tom Dixon Beat Tall White
Tom Dixon Beat Wide White
KKFS by KKDC
TIMBER LINING BOARDS (LIGHT ATRIUM/STAIRCASE)
Schiavello, Oak Stringybark