Woodhead was engaged to design the new 5,500sqm workplace for the ATO in Wollongong. An integrated fitout designed to encourage staff interaction and provide a positive working environment, the concept of ‘synthesis’ was explored, referring to the harmonious combination of two or more elements to form a whole.

The planning, based on ATO accommodation standards, provides clearly defined spaces, allowing for quiet work, alternate work areas and enclosed meeting spaces. Differing floor finishes and ceiling treatments in these areas visibly identify these areas from the more traditional open plan workstation areas.

The design was inspired by the local topography, a synthesis between the warm contemporary finishes and the more rustic industrial finishes result in a harmony of the materials. The use of red cedar links back to the cedar imports of early day Wollongong. Additionally, steel is used to emphasise the importance of this metal to the success of past, present and future Wollongong.

The ATO relocated to their new accommodation in October 2013, and the staff feedback has been unquestionably positive.