CBA Axle, South Eveleigh

Woods Bagot

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA’s) workplace at the Axle building in Sydney focuses on the bank’s continued commitment to innovation, learning and the wellbeing of its people. With CBA’s workplace strategy and identity shifting from a more traditional banking environment to that more akin to a tech company, the design of Axle responded directly to the bank’s vision for a world-class environment.

CBA is focused on advancing its digital future through people, collaboration and innovation, and Axle helps with this focus. Across 42,500 square metres and eight floors (base building by fjmtstudio), Woods Bagot created an intuitive workplace that uses smart technology to simplify and unify the workspace, building and employees to create a positive experience for everyone.

Accommodating 4,000 people, the spaces within Axle are highly diverse and highly porous. Optimised for learning and productivity, the mix of logical, open, desirable spaces was designed for both deliberate and random collaboration. There are retreat spaces and shelters for individual work, while rest and tech-free relaxation spaces ease into vibrant and active settings. The periphery provides ‘me settings’, then come the ‘we settings’ (the individual with team members and other people), then ‘us settings’ as one gets closer to the atrium.

The integrated approach by the interior designer and the building architect prioritised CBA’s commitment to distributed agile and activity-based work. In creating an agile, next-generation work environment, the design collaboration produced enhancements such as the stepped plaza connecting upper ground and level 1 spaces. Receding and expressed compositions redefine the atrium edge providing variety and interest.

By facilitating significant change in the culture of one of Australia’s largest private employers, Axle is distinct for its commitment to optimising performance and supporting a healthy and sustainable future for CBA and its people.

Furniture: Unifor Australia, Living Edge, Dexion Commercial, Uplifting Solutions, Work Arena, District Australia, Design Nation, Café Culture Australia, Seehosu, Anibou, Cult, Stylecraft, Mark Tuckey, Koskela, Schiavello Systems, Jardan Australia, Design Nation, Mid Med, Kezu, Wilkhahn, HVG, NSW Leather, CFS Furniture, Tappeti, Wilson & Gilkes. Lighting: KKDC, VBO Australia. Finishes: Halliday Bailie, Spectrum Flooring, Forbo, RC +D, Gibbon, Interface, Artedomus, Earp Bros, Classic Ceramics, Teranova, Ocean and Merchant, Academy Tiles, Skheme Tiles, WK Marble, Corian, Civardi Joinery, Dulux, H Dallas Industries, Armstrong, Polytec, Elton Group, Laminex, Kvadrat, Portugal Cork Co., CHH Woodproducts, Woodform Instyle, Easycraft. Fittings & Fixture: Darko, Hafele.

Photography: Nicole England & Trevor Mein