There’s a great story behind the eye-popping 50-square-metre tufted rug which features in the magnificent atrium of ANZ Sydney. And it all comes back to people, culture and connection to land.
April 4th, 2022
ANZ is among the top four banks in Australia, the largest banking group in New Zealand and Pacific, and among the top 50 banks in the world. ANZ has a proud heritage of more than 180 years, employing more than 50,000 people.
This mindful refurbishment by Hot Black sees ANZ Sydney’s harbour-side headquarter transformed into a spectacular city-like locale. The new space draws inspiration from the urban context of its surroundings, while the striking artwork by a young Aboriginal artist, replicated on a 50-square-metre tufted rug in the building’s magnificent atrium, generates a sense of distinct connection to land and emphasises the edifice’s newly-found character as a meeting place.
ANZ’s recently refurbished Sydney office spans 23,000 square metre, and aims to reflect ANZ’s commitment to its people, values and culture. The overarching concept for the workplace, by designers Hot Black, was that of a mini-city; with some floors referencing Sydney’s pocket parks by introducing greenery and a connection to nature, whilst other floors reference the hustle and bustle of the streetscape. The customer reception area is discovered in between these zones with a soaring three-storey atrium and serves as the first impression for visitors.
As well as its sustainability commitment, ANZ is always looking for opportunities to support the emerging Indigenous business sector and providing meaningful employment pathways to forge a strong pipeline of Indigenous talent. That’s why engaging Indigenous suppliers was a natural fit for this project.
After presenting a number of local aboriginal artists and their stories to ANZ, Lakkari Pitt was chosen as a collaborator for the project, as her work had great synergy with ANZ’s already established values and the values that Hot Black wanted to capture on this particular floor, drawing inspiration from ideas around gathering and community.
Lakkari’s artwork “Dhagaan” comes from the Gamilaroi word for brother and depicts a central meeting place with two people sitting in it, symbolising Lakkari and her brother. The piece also has references to water, which resonated with ANZ’s office location in Sydney and its strong connection with the harbour. The strong shades of blue throughout also tie in to ANZ’s branding.
The Designer Rugs team applied their experience working with Aboriginal art to faithfully translate “Dhagaan” into a 50sqm hand tufted rug. The entire canvas was translated digitally, taking great care to retain as much detail as possible, and a chosen section of the design was cropped to fit within the space while showcasing different areas of this beautiful piece of art.
The rug was inlayed into the floor, creating a safe, flush surface and helping to minimise wear. To add shimmer reminiscent of sunlight on water while maintaining durability, bamboo silk was stippled with New Zealand wool in sections.
This incredible feature rug takes centre stage at the base of a three-storey atrium, where it can be appreciated at different scales and angles. For both employees and customers, the space provides a reminder of our Aboriginal history and people, and the importance of keeping such a beautiful art form alive. The design tells a story of community and personal connection, showcasing and supporting the work of a gifted emerging Aboriginal artist.
“The rug adds a truly unique and vibrant look and feel to the customer floor, and is a beautiful addition to the project by a very talented young Aboriginal artist.” – Kristy Ball, director of architecture at Hot Black.
“To have the story of my Dhagaan and I translated into such a large scale textile is absolutely mind blowing. The rug turned out better than I could have ever imagined!” – Lakkari Pitt, artist.
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