KPMG Perth

KPMG Lays Down Roots with Australian Landscape-Inspired Design

Built on historically significant land for Aboriginal people, the workplace design alludes to the natural environment and desire to make this new location a long-term home. Indigenous activist and educator Dr. Richard Walley helped the design team to create the considered material palette and interior shapes alluding to the Western Australian landscape’s rock formations, fire season, and warm earth tones.

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The undulating timber wall, designed in collaboration with Perth-based industrial designer and craftsperson Jack Flanagan, marks the arrival point for visitors and employees. Referencing Western Australia’s Wave Rock—a popular, 15-meter-high curved bedrock that looks like a breaking ocean wave—the sculptural installation spans the full height and length of the entrance area. Constructed from steam-bent American black walnut onto a metal frame to inform its organic shape, this piece doubles as a reception waiting area with built-in ergonomic seating. The craftsperson specifically tested several pieces of narrow timber slats for its ability to bend at varying lengths and shapes while its smooth grain and deep chocolate tones complement the warm hues.

Drawing from the Aboriginal six-season calendar, the design team focused on the fire season of Birak when the Indigenous people would burn the land to increase grazing pastures for animals and aid in seed germination—a time of rebirth and new possibilities. A smoke graphic etched on glazing contrasts upholstery with discrete, deep forest green and flame orange hues throughout the space, echoing the practice of burning the bushland.

Circular breakout areas in a terracotta hue emulate the arrangement of a campfire and evade staff hierarchy by forgoing traditional rectangular setups.

A key component of the office design is a green wall. Beloved in KPMG offices in both Sydney and Melbourne, hardy indoor plants grow up walls and along a roof-bound wire to connect workers to the natural environment.

A modified spatial layout allowed for a 10 percent reduction in footprint while still supporting a 10 percent increase in employee growth.

Client

KPMG

Status

Built

Location

Perth, Australia

Completion Date

2019

Size

6,300 meters

Vistors can sit within the bepsoke timber installation designed for the reception area.

Comprised of several slats of black walnut, the sculptural installation was manipulated with a steam treatment and fixed onto a metal frame to inform its organic shape.

Lowered rungs act as ergonomic seating for visitors in the reception area.

Organic materials are carried throughout the interiors to allude to the surrounding natural environment.

Circular meeting rooms emulate seating arrangements around a campfire to evade hierarchy within groups.

Unconventional meeting spaces with varied working mediums provide employees with options to collaborate.

An open kitchen allows for transparency and opportunities for employees to bond while taking a break from work.

Motifs of smokey among the bushlands refer to the region’s burning season.

Ample floor-to-ceiling windows provide views to the nearby bushlands.

Deep hues of blue refer allude to the nearby coastal waters.

A living room-like setting provides a casual atmosphere for employees to gather and view presentations.

Non-assigned seating lets employees navigate throughout the interiors and strike up conversations with colleagues they might not otherwise intearct.

Modular seating acts as both private areas and partitions to stave off soundwaves from nearby collaborative spaces.

An oblong island topped with terracotta-colored granite emulates the aforementioned rock formations in the region and acts as another dining space.