Bringing new life to Perth's CBD
The new BHP Billiton tower in Perth, Western Australia, is fostering new life and activity in the heart of the city's central business district.
Designed by HASSELL and Fitzpatrick + Partners, the tower rises 45 floors above St Georges Terrace. It sits at the centre of Brookfield Place, a new precinct that brings Western Australia's "indoor-outdoor" lifestyle into the heart of the city.
Thousands of people stream through the precinct each day to work in the tower and adjacent buildings, or to eat and drink at restaurants and bars as well as a high quality food court wrapped around the base of the tower. Pathways through the precinct link St Georges Terrace to the city bus station behind the office tower.
The restaurants and bars have brought new life to a row of heritage buildings on St Georges Terrace that had been boarded up for 25 years. Diners and drinkers spill out on to a series of alfresco spaces behind the heritage buildings. Bridging elements link those spaces to the HASSELL designed public realm between the heritage buildings and the new office tower.
"As a designer, it is a great privilege to be able to shape an entire precinct," said Andrew Low, HASSELL Project Leader for Brookfield Place. "Our client, Brookfield, could see the opportunity to make a real difference to the city. The quality of the design outcome matches the calibre of their brand, and as such they have renamed the development Brookfield Place.
"In Perth we have an indoor-outdoor lifestyle, but previously we didn't have it in the centre of the city. We do now. Bringing life back into the city and activating the precinct from day to night was very important."
The office tower puts BHP Billiton's stamp on the city and is the new workplace for 3,000 company employees who were previously scattered across 24 different sites. BHP Billiton occupies 60,000 square metres on 34 floors, all designed by HASSELL.
The design was based on a strategic brief developed for BHP Billiton by HASSELL and workplace consultants DEGW. The design objectives were to promote a global company identity and create a high performance, flexible environment that supports mobility, change and innovation, transparency and inclusiveness, and communication and knowledge sharing.
The workplace floors maximise opportunities for collaboration across teams and business units. Staircases connect each floor and floor-to-ceiling windows mean nearly all employees are within 10 metres of natural daylight.
The "top deck" Level 45 is a communal floor open to all employees. It offers a wide range of different spaces for individual working, casual meeting spaces and video conferencing facilities as well as areas for people to relax or eat their lunch.
"We set out to design somewhere that people would enjoy working in," said Caroline Diesner, who led the HASSELL workplace design team on the project. "It is fantastic to see people reacting so positively to the building."
—Read more articles for August 2012
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