UBT’s new Head Office at Sydney’s Olympic Park – The Precinct – brings the luxury of a boutique hotel to an agile workplace typology designed for networking and collaboration.
October 3rd, 2017
Arriving at the new headquarters of UBT at Sydney’s Olympic Park is akin to checking into a five-star hotel, thanks to a well-appointed fit-out that takes its inspiration from hospitality and high-end domestic spaces. Overlaid with a seamless technological offering and served by a concierge on each level, it’s an environment that appears to make teamwork and collaboration easy.
Offering business consultancy services, UBT relies on solid relationships with partner companies, and moving to this new space was a key part of UBT’s own cultural shift, and a way to demonstrate agility and innovation to its clients, according to Luke Quinlan, senior designer at Unispace.
“Their clients use the space to network and build their businesses, which made this quite a unique brief for us,” Quinlan says. “When we took the initial briefing, our clients weren’t sure how they would operate from the space, or how they wanted it to look and feel, so we conducted a series of strategy workshops with leadership teams to define the project objectives and develop the design.”
One of the keys to success in this three-level fit-out is the fully catered café that offers lunch to UBT’s clients, staff and guests each day. Located at the southwest corner of the sixth floor – the tenancy’s prime position – the cafe boasts views across the surrounding parklands to the CBD in the distance.
“The café means that UBT is a great place to work: it acts as a positive incentive, and it helps the company to attract and retain talented people,” Quinlan says. Operated from an in-house 60-square-metre commercial kitchen, the café also provides a full-service food and beverage offering that is available in all of UBT’s meeting rooms, via concierge facilities on each floor.
Level 5 accommodates approximately 150 employees in an activity-based working format, which can be easily reconfigured to accommodate more employees or to cater to new project teams. This floor also hosts an innovation space, formal meeting rooms, focus rooms and casual collaboration areas.
Level 4 comprises 23 meeting rooms including a training facility that can accommodate up to 120 people. In an indication of how well the design is working, UBT’s clients permanently occupy several of the smaller rooms on this level.
Across all three floors, the core areas were dedicated to built spaces such as meeting and utility rooms, lockers, quiet rooms and support spaces, which helped to maintain access to natural light and sightlines from the perimeter windows.
Quinlan chose a neutral base palette of crisp white and greys, paired with black detailing and touches of European oak for warmth. This is overlayed with pattern and texture in subtle colour tones that feature on upholstered pieces and graphics throughout the shared areas. The VIP spaces on level six boast a richer material palette including metallic detailing and natural stone, in keeping with the mood of high-end airline lounges and five-star hotels.
“This has been a big move for UBT because all of the employees occupied assigned desks in their previous workspace,” Quinlan says.
“But they’ve really embraced this change, and since moving in they have already requested minor changes to the workstation configuration to support their rapid growth. It’s a testament to the design, that it can be easily reconfigured and offer that type of flexibility.”
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