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Cardno’s City-Like Office Celebrates Variety And Community

Resembling a modern mini-city, Cardno’s Brisbane office fosters the concept of community through a human-centric design by Cox Architects.

Ola Moszumanska


March 4th, 2020

Cardno is an innovative infrastructure and development company concerned with improving physical and social environments for people around the world. The idea that thriving communities build a better world is central to the company’s ethos, so it comes as no surprise that Cardno found the refurbishment of their APAC North Headquarters to be a perfect opportunity to bring that vision to life.

As an organisation operating across 40 offices and a series of siloed business units, the three-floor Brisbane renovation sought to unite various groups while still providing options for seclusion within a functional environment. Cardno engaged the interior design studio of multidisciplinary practice, Cox Architects, to take on the project.

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Cox Architects transformed Cardno’s office into a modern space that celebrates the diversity of their workforce through a cohesive interior layout that embodies the notion of community.

Drawing from city planning concepts, the design team looked to communal urban sites for inspiration on how to increase connectivity in a work environment and foster collaboration between employees across a range of groups.

The fit-out incorporates ingenious spatial design and graphic elements to create an office that functions as a city. Filled with working neighbourhoods and centred around three main communal areas – a town hall, parklands, and a cafe – the layout brings transparency, character and playfulness to the workplace.

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While the lively town hall replaces the tired reception concept and a serene, leafy park area offers a place to unwind, the kitchen was transformed into a cafe creating a thriving social hub for employees. Walls of glass create a light-filled space, and extended modern refectory tables offer a place where colleagues can come together and chat over coffee or a bite to eat.

Providing the crowning detail in a refurbishment defined by streamlined functionalism, Zip HydroTaps were installed to deliver instant filtered boiling, chilled or sparkling water to employees – a contemporary take on the proverbial water cooler. The sleek Zip HydroTaps in matte black provide a stylish contrast to the lighter tones of birch veneer that adorn the space.

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Within the overall fit-out, Zip HydroTaps offer a perfect hydration solution that not only contributes to the overall aesthetic of the design but improves the general health and wellbeing of all employees.

Moving away from a faceless, corporate and disparate space towards a vibrant and collaborative miniature city, Cardno’s new model proves that an office can be an inspiring, engaging and visionary place that celebrates diversity, community and wellness of its employees.

Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones

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