ANZ bank, renowned for its strong work culture, has a new head office in Melbourne— home to more than 6,500 staff and now the largest single-tenanted commercial office building in Australia.
Inspired by the riverside setting and the maritime character intrinsic to Docklands, the fluid forms and powerful internal spaces contribute to a commanding presence. The design evolved around the concept of an urban campus, focused on a central common, with a hierarchy of shared spaces, an openness fostering interaction, and a rich variety of settings providing scale and complexity.
The development provides a total net area of 83,600 square meters on 13+ levels, with floor plates ranging from 6,600 to 9,800 square meters, all configured to maximize natural daylight penetration, promote workplace integration and communication, and provide flexibility.
In collaboration with HASSELL and Bovis Lend Lease, Fabio Ongarato Design devised a comprehensive wayfinding and environmental graphics program that matches ANZ’s cultural needs and workplace values, and complies with the 6-Star Green Star rating.
The project scope included wayfinding strategy, location planning, and scheduling for exterior and interior signage and directional and identification signage as well as floor and wall graphics, 10 unique multi-level ceiling-mounted cathode ray light sculptures, textured ceiling-mounted digital prints, and a handcrafted and painted magnetic MDF frame system.
The wayfinding system was created as an extension of the architecture. Elegant sculptural forms were directly inspired by the shifting planes detailed in the architecture and the concept of an urban canvas. Signage appears as a series of extrusions, resulting in an intuitive and architecturally harmonious solution. A key challenge was the sheer size and scope of the wayfinding strategy required for a 13-story building with three separate lift cores and a central 10-story atrium light well.
As part of the environmental graphics package, supergraphics and installations were created to suit varied hub environments, and to encourage staff interaction. Each of the hub environments was designed to suit the wide variety of occupant profiles and requirements. “Play” is a space focused around competition and teamwork. “Create” was designed to encourage open mindedness and connect with ANZ’s history. “Grow” is a place of respite, tranquility, and rejuvenation. “Move” is a connection to the wider urban metropolis, a dynamic and energetic space. And “Click” is a high-tech space based around technology and global connectivity.
“Considering the challenges of an identification and wayfinding program for a corporate headquarters—especially a bank—I admired a solution that is not only pleasing to the eye, but highly functional. Color and graphics enable intuitive navigation of the building while distinguishing the various departments and complementing the abundant natural light that warms the space. The potential monotony of a multi-story building with open floor plates surrounding an atrium dissolves and is replaced by an interesting space that is pleasing to the eye thanks to strong colors and a variety of textures. The sign elements further complement the building with their appropriate scale and sculptural form.”
“This project does a wonderful job of integrating the architecture and wayfinding into a big and bold solution that caught everyone’s eye. I particularly liked the scale shifts of the signage and the architecture. Although in different materials, they formed a sculptural whole that was very spirited and added significantly to the clarity of the orientation in a very unique and artful way.”
“We found the richness of the atrium edges to be steeped in variety, and by varying the architecture and the colors, the designers achieved an identity that went far beyond the typical large-scale office atrium. The upper ground-floor atrium was rich both horizontally and vertically. The variety in soffit material provides orientation and clarifying devices while being an integral part of the structure. The simple use of bold and limited expanses of primary colors was particularly successful in landmarking the central locations and levels. The directional totems are simple and elegant.”
Fabio Ongarato (creative director); Daniel Peterson, Maurice Lai (designers); Daniel Peterson, Maurice Lai (typographers); Daniel Peterson (illustrator); Craig McWhinney, Daniel Peterson, Maurice Lai (finished artists)
Bovis Lend Lease (construction)
Diadem (signage); Signature Flooring (floor graphics); Bovis Lend Lease, Premier Graphics (wall graphics); Tint Design (window graphics and decals); JSB Lighting (light sculpture)