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The Hayesbery heritage offices by Woods Bagot

With the help of Woods Bagot, the Goodman Group has moved to The Hayesbery, a new headquarters more fitting of its essence and sustainable commitments.

The Hayesbery heritage offices by Woods Bagot

COVID-19 has changed the way many now work. This is certainly the case with the Goodman Group, one of the largest developers of industrial real estate globally.

However, its former Australian headquarters, located in a Sydney CBD high-rise, didn’t really capture the essence of the company nor reflect its sustainable approach.

So, when one of Goodman’s properties – a set of heritage warehouse-style buildings at Rosebery, in Sydney’s inner-south, used until then for storage – came up for consideration, it was decided to make a change.

A large wooden table in front of a black wall in the goodman group's headquarters

“Goodman was looking for headquarters that captured its brand, its values and, importantly, a great place where staff would return to, post-COVID,” says interior designer Amanda Stanaway, principal and global workplace leader of Woods Bagot, who worked closely with her team.

Originally built in the 1920s to produce hats, the four red-brick buildings retained many of their original features: timber trusses and the rich patina of years expressed in many of the interior walls.

Unlike Goodman’s previous high-rise office, where space is a premium requiring a tighter configuration of floor space, at The Hayesbery there are four detached warehouse-style buildings that are strongly connected to the outdoors.

Approximately 3,000 square metres in total, these spaces are filled with light, plants and importantly, cross ventilation. A central courtyard and well-defined outdoor paths linking these buildings, have attracted staff, approximately 200 people, back to work.

More akin to a campus-style environment rather than a corporate work place, the new fit-out includes lounge areas, break-out spaces, informal and more formal enclosed spaces, such as the boardroom, with the smallest warehouse of the four (approximately 200 square metres), able to be used for other purposes, such as for events or simply another space for colleagues to catch up.

Mindful of people wanting a new work experience after the long stays at home, Woods Bagot included a wellness centre that contains a gymnasium, a yoga room and state-of-the art end-of-trip facilities for those riding their bikes to work.

At The Hayesbery, the distance between workstations is considerably greater with a ratio of one person to 16 square metres rather than the usual ration of one to 10.

“COVID-19 has taught us that people are looking for more engaging spaces, but as importantly, more space to start with. There’s definitely been a shift to wellness, as much as to sustainability with rainwater tanks and also the ability for staff to recharge their electric cars on site being included in the design,” says Stanaway.

Clients visiting Goodman Group will also be pleasantly surprised by the omission of a formidable reception counter upon arrival. Instead, there’s a large timber table that can be used to meet clients informally, with the receptionist roving the buildings to ensure all one’s needs are taken care of.

And while there’s a sense of rawness to this fit-out, there’s clearly a sense of sophistication that reflects the Goodman name.

“The planting obviously add a green layer and a softening of these spaces, and it’s still possible to ‘read’ the history of this place, imagining what it would have been like in the 1920s,” adds Stanaway.

Woods Bagot

Gold writing on a grey wall points to "Gym & Yoga" one way and "The Pauls" another in The Goodman Group's headquarters by woods bagot

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