Located in Melbourne’s Docklands, 700 Bourke Street is a pivotal new workplace for National Australia Bank (NAB) with architecture, interior design and workplace consulting by Woods Bagot.
The site location, between Southern Cross Station and Etihad Stadium, generates incredible footfall, while its position beside sunken train lines allows the entire west façade of the building to be visible from the city.
Responding to its triangular site, the architecture embraces the triangle as its primary visual motif, with a magnificent triangular atrium rising through the centre of the building. Three vertical fissures snake their way down the façade of the building, breaking down the scale of the enormous footprint. Triangulated façade panels on the exterior of these “cathedral windows” are coloured red, orange, yellow and green.
The point of entry to 700 Bourke Street is characteristic of the radical approach that NAB sought for the building, with a main entry for pedestrians and an entry from the road on a separate level below. This approach is reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s early experiments separating cars from people on different levels.
700 Bourke Street is the result of a long relationship between NAB and Woods Bagot, with this workplace providing NAB with an opportunity to affect organisational change and achieve business efficiencies. Woods Bagot’s design takes a real time working approach, using information-age mobility, virtual working and a focus on collaboration to inform the design of the working environment.
The total floor area of 75,000m2 is positioned around a central, light-filled atrium and divided into eight zones that act as hubs for 50 people, with the added flexibility of 100 drop-in staff, community and consultants. Each of these zones are subsequently sub-dividable into a series of spaces for social, shared, focused and learning environments.
Many of the most innovative aspects of 700 Bourke Street came about as a result of a unique process of stakeholder engagement. A series of workshops, held early in the process, allowed a collaborative approach involving the Woods Bagot architectural team, NAB, Cbus Property, the master plan team and the Woods Bagot interior design team, replacing the more linear approach that is common in the design of a building of this scale.