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Here are 5 destinations where people just happen to work

We visit five cutting-edge, Australian-designed workplaces that will make your forget what work looks like.

Here are 5 destinations where people just happen to work

ANZ Open House, photography by Willem-Dirk du Toit

Working from home for the past couple years has forever changed our perception of the workplace. Yet in 2022, there are some workplaces that put the emphasis on destination and user experience.

We’ve curated five of the best, trend-setting workplaces that go above and beyond the common and ordinary. Even in this evolving hybrid lifestyle, some have cultivated an atmosphere with new angles on the design that builds a bridge between comfort, consideration, and practicality. 

Browse through these five stunning workplaces, where you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re not at work.

Expedia Group, designed by Templewell, photography by Jack Lovel

Expedia Group, Sydney by Templewell Studios

At first glance, this fit-out is reminiscent of a warm, homey foyer. Greeted by the natural materials of Eucalypt timber and sandy tones, Templewell’s reception fit-out is a fine blending of home-to-office lifestyle, where comfort and practicality shines.

As a response to hybrid working, every piece within this fit-out is versatile in use. The sleek, sand-coloured reception desk, for example, doubles as a bar to host events. The inset banquette seats could be used as either meeting spaces, or cosy corners to rest.

“Establishing a really strong sense of place is quite important,” says Fiona Chong, Templewell’s director and lead designer. “So the reason behind creating the design was that it responded to that indoor/outdoor lifestyle which is quite prevalent in Australia.”

Discover the project here.

Expedia Group, photography by Jack Lovel
Expedia Group, designed by Templewell, photography by Jack Lovel.

Greg Natale Cotton On Campus

Cotton-on Campus, Geelong by Greg Natale

When asked to design the Cotton On Campus by owner Nigel Austin, interior designer Greg Natale says, “He wanted this amazing campus that would reflect the passion he feels for Geelong and attract the best of the best. He wanted the whole place to be a great place to be, not just a great place to work.”

The red-brick destination blends Geelong heritage elements with chic hotel features. The central dining and meeting area is even designed in a New York Brasserie dining style.

Every room is inspired to have strong individualistic qualities with a cross-stitching of visual links throughout the unique rooms.

Discover the project here.

Greg Natale Cotton On Campus
Cotton-On Campus, by Greg Natale with PTID, photography by Anson Smart.


ANZ Open House, Melbourne by Foolscap Studio

A sense of community centres around food, rest, and interconnectivity. Having a history in designing bars and hotels, one would think designing the formality of a financial institution would be a challenge. Foolscap Studios embraced it. Bringing the worlds of executive quarters and hotel luxury together allowed ANZ Open House to foster a sense of unity and efficiency.

The foundations have been reworked and the workplace created, all carefully designed to encourage collaboration and engagement. It’s a new world for workplaces, and this open house sits on top as a new step for all offices.

“Now more than ever, we believe the workplace will bring people together in new ways to re-cement our sense of belonging and community,” says director, Adèle Winteridge.

Discover the project here.

ANZ Open House, designed by Foolscap Studios. Photography by Willem-Dirk du Toit
ANZ Open House, designed by Foolscap Studios, photography by Willem-Dirk du Toit.

Techne, Melbourne

This hospitable Melbourne workplace by Techne

Many hospitality venues carry the mark of Techne so it was a delightful surprise when they were asked to design a new headquarters for a client that didn’t envision a traditional workplace.

“Our clients were looking for a distinct hospitality feel rather than a traditional workplace environment. Many staff may be working out of the office from Monday to Thursday, then all come together on a Friday,” says Gabriella Gulacsi, senior associate with Techne.

Set across two levels of a city high-rise, the first level manifests as an informal café and bar, and the second level is predominately offices.

Reminiscent of laneway retail in Melbourne, the pavement throughout the levels doesn’t lead to shops but a series of office and meeting rooms.

Each is enclosed and some feature their own façade, yet holistically, it breaks down the barriers between office and hospitality offering a new world for employees to embrace.

Discover the project here.

Designed by Techne, Photogrpahy by Tom Blachford.
Workplace design by Techne, photography by Tom Blachford.

 Herman Miller - Hot Black

A modular office system you can take anywhere, by Hot Black

As a bit of a unique spin, we’re looking at the future and what might this next step entail in the years to come. Herman Miller’s Workplace Redefined – The Design Challenge, asked this question and the design firm Hot Black responded. What Hot Black proposed was a universal office kit, reusable anywhere.

Envisioning a prefabricated modular system, their concept focused on being able to place it in any environment: rooftops, an office fit-out, a pavilion.

“The bonus to having a 2400 millimetre-high module is that it can be placed into a typical office space, an already established built environment. And it reduces the need for a building permit,” notes Sophie Safrin, design director for Hot Black. “This solution has minimal impact on services, so it is well supported for operations.”

Discover the project here.

Herman Miller - Hot Black
Hot Black’s proposed prefabricated, reusable office kit, named a Top Design in the inaugural Herman Miller Workplace Redefined – The Design Challenge.

We think you may like to read about these other top workplaces designs, too.

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