National Workplace

The Commonwealth Bank’s aspiration for its new Sydney headquarters was to create a warm, inclusive environment that is collaborative, adaptable and inviting.


Studio Ongarato

Practice Area




The Challenge

The challenge was for Studio Ongarato to collaborate with project architects Hassell to develop wayfinding signage aligned with the project values of utility and accountability, expressing the vision for a “simpler, better workplace.”

Project Vision

The project vision was to provide a workplace environment that recognises the importance of community, encourages engagement, and enhances the user experience of staff, clients, and visitors.

The Yana Budjari Auditorium pays respect to First Nations peoples with the indigenous language phrase ‘Come Together You Mob’ inlaid in contrast veneer on each timber door.

Clinton Weaver

A restrained approach to the signage system delivers a refined design language of unitised typography, a black and white palette and precision detailing, recalling the utility of analogue counting machines.

Clinton Weaver

Design + Execution

Wayfinding signage featuring a restrained utilitarian approach delivers a refined design language of unitised typography, black and white palette, and precision detailing, recalling the industrial aesthetic of analogue counting machines, typewriters and early computers. Key destinations are heralded by feature signage, each referencing traditional signage typologies: changeable menu board tiles for the staff café, suspended neon at Facilities Management and IT Help Desk and crafted inlaid timber at the Auditorium. Changeable events information is presented on ground level and at concierge via an airport-style split flap display. This analogue technology activates the workplace environment in an unexpected way, with sound and animation during each message change. Throughout the workplace, wayfinding is clearly expressed and highly legible, and all room naming is reinforced with braille and tactile messages in support of the National Workplace’s commitment to accessibility and design for all abilities.

Wayfinding signage is crafted from solid Corian blocks sleeved over natural timber beams; an approach to materiality that reflects the project vision for honesty and integrity.

Clinton Weaver

A refined design language of unitised typography, a black and white palette and precision detailing.

Clinton Weaver

Staff support services are heralded by suspended neon signs; a playful reference to traditional signage typologies.

Clinton Weaver

Halo-illuminated identification for client meeting rooms; a simple, restrained approach to integration.

Clinton Weaver

Typical workfloor signs and meeting room privacy graphics demonstrate refined utility elevated by precision detailing.

Clinton Weaver

Project Details
The restrained design aligns to the simplicity of the space. The use of ticker boards welcomes you with unexpected messages and has a unique use of neon within acrylic cylinders to identify different spaces.
Juror 1
The beautifully clean simple wayfinding system truly expresses National Workplace’s core values of “simpler, better bank.” The design is elegant and effective with wonderful subtleties with the integration into the space. The details of flip displays, activating in an unexpected way, carried through the system bring a fresh approach to a contemporary system.
Juror 2
Design Team

Fabio Ongarato (creative director)
Ben Kluger (design director)
Eva Lee (senior designer, project manager)
Braden Familton (designer)


Hassell (architecture)
Oat Foundry (interactive art)
Shape Australia (fabricator)

Photo Credits

Clinton Weaver

Open Date

June 2022