* This project was under the design direction of Stephen Cameron while previously working at Hassell.
Client: Wesley Mission Brisbane + PBS Building
Scale: 16,000 sqm
A shortlisted proposal for a new northern metro workplace for Energex (a major utility organisation), this six-storey office building was designed to be a thoroughly modern, open and flexible 5-star Green Star, PCA A-Grade workplace.
Externally, there are three primary elements to the architectural composition – a timber-detailed base, a glazed prism and a layer of metallic screens that enclose and protect it. The timber base creates a strong tactile interface with the ground plane and landscape, while the metallic screens are detailed specfic to their orientation and offer a vernacular response to the Brisbane climate.
Rather than designing the building from the outside in as an “object” first and work environment second, the external envelope has been kept simple and refined in order to turn the primary spatial focus inward. A great atrium occupies the central area of the plan and is encountered as one moves through the building from the main entry foyer to the uppermost floor. The arrival point at each floor level opens directly onto the atrium, and it is located such that it is ringed and crossed by the primary circulation routes, including stair access between different floors. Natural daylight is admitted from the top of the atrium and, in conjunction with unrestricted daylight available around the edges, ensures that the workspaces have minimal reliance on artificial lighting.
Furthermore, the atrium is designed as a positive space rather than a negative void, and it offers a different experience on each floor level, aiding orientation and giving a sense of uniqueness within a large work environment. Primary breakout and meeting spaces adjoin the edges of the atrium, and it is criss-crossed by timber stairs and walkways offering ever-changing views and informal contact between disparate floors and workspaces.