The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has leased two new buildings to consolidate their locations across Canberra and to meet their stated objectives. GHD Woodhead was commissioned to deliver interior design and workplace planning services as an integrated interior design project working with the base building architects.
Designed to accommodate future change, the planning is robust and flexible using urban planning principles that allow the 4200 staff to move through the office spaces easily and comfortably. Notions of streets, lanes, interconnections and town squares drive the language and forms of the overall design, encouraging communication and interaction. Open workspaces are broken by communal ‘parks’ creating an opportunity to meet informally in a ‘greenscaped’ casual environment with timber urban seating. The concept of ‘leaves’ and their changing colours, reflecting Canberra’s four distinct seasons, forms a basis for the graphics and colour palette, with overlaid signage and way-finding enabling staff to easily identify areas.
The building configuration has a central core and four glazed facades allowing abundant natural light. The interior design approach maximises access to natural light and views providing an open plan environment. The concept uses the built environment to encourage interaction within the ATO by fostering productivity through creative planning techniques and intelligent design solutions.