Located in North Sydney, the new Microsoft Australia Head Office breaks the mould of a traditional workplace and is a fully immersive experience. Designed to reflect places of awe and wonder within the Australian natural landscape, the workplace provides a journey of discovery from parametric walls that mimic the Figure 8 Pools, with reflective ceilings to represent the rippling effect of the water, to cave-like environments and tunnels of greenery.
The project is a bold, future-shaping workspace that veers confidently away from the archetypal tech office. The design puts people firmly at the centre. It includes two floors of customer interface and learning facilities, wellness facilities, studio and editing suites, an immersive live-stream cylinder, an X-Box Room and neighbourhoods designed to support various operational and development functions.
The five work floors are linked by an inter-connecting stair providing visual connectivity and encouraging collaboration through all levels. The stair is illuminated via a digital art installation that runs continuously throughout all floors and references Microsoft’s digital code. The programmable installation provides Microsoft with the opportunity to inform the environment’s mood, reflect the water, or interact with the activity of the users traversing through all levels.
The environment delivers a benchmark outcome for Microsoft in the context of environmental performance and well-being, embedded with strong biophilic references to benefit all users. Elevating the concept of collaborative workspaces and delivering an industry exemplar in the provision of focus space for quiet concentration, the design raises the technology workplace bar.
Furniture: Haworth, Herman Miller, Living Edge, Stylecraft, Zenith Interiors, Wilkhahn, Cult Design, Jardan, Envoy. Lighting: Koskela. Finishes: SAS International, Supawood (Supaslat), Rimex Metals, Interface, Karndean, The Andrews Group, Interface, Milliken Ontera, Forbo, Shaw Contract, Tarkett, Polyflor, Kvadrat Maharam (Steelcut Trio 3, Quay, Mantle, Remix 3, Jaali, Pilot), Norfolk Blinds, House of Bamboo, Elton Group, Intrim, Laminex (Aged Ash, Charcoal), HVG, Surteco, Dulux, Weston, Warwick Fabrics, Emily Ziz, Caesarstone, CASF (Corian), Artedomus (Inax Yuki Border Tile), Skheme (Zellij Brick Tile), Woven Image (Zen Embossed Panel, Echopanel, Aire), Europanel (Eurohush S9), The Andrews Group (Baux Acoustic Tile), Kube Contract (Hauki). Fittings & Fixtures: Zip (Zip Hydrotap Elite 5 in 1, Zip Hydrotap Arc), Harvey Norman Commercial (Envy, Radiant, Clark), Clipsal (Saturn Series), Living Edge (Muuto Dots Coat Hooks), Index and Co (Semi Circle, Streamline, J-Pull Joinery Handles, Arcadia Entry Door Pull), ZETR (ZETR double GPO)
Photography: Steve Brown