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National Australia Bank Docklands

A Building Designed Around an Organization

Located in Melbourne’s Docklands, 700 Bourke Street is a pivotal new workplace for the financial institution. 

The site location, between Southern Cross Station and Etihad Stadium, generates incredible footfall, while its position beside sunken train lines allows the entire west façade of the building to be visible from the city. 

Responding to its triangular site, the architecture embraces the triangle as its primary visual motif, with a magnificent triangular atrium rising through the centre of the building. Three vertical fissures snake their way down the façade of the building, breaking down the scale of the enormous footprint. Triangulated façade panels on the exterior of these “cathedral windows” are colored red, orange, yellow and green.

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The point of entry to 700 Bourke Street is characteristic of the radical approach that NAB sought for the building, with a main entry for pedestrians and an entry from the road on a separate level below. This approach is reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s early experiments separating cars from people on different levels.

700 Bourke Street is the result of a long relationship between NAB and Woods Bagot, with this workplace providing NAB with an opportunity to affect organisational change and achieve business efficiencies. Woods Bagot’s design takes a real time working approach, using information-age mobility, virtual working and a focus on collaboration to inform the design of the working environment

The total floor area of 75,000m2 is positioned around a central, light-filled atrium and divided into eight zones that act as hubs for 50 people, with the added flexibility of 100 drop-in staff, community and consultants. Each of these zones are subsequently sub-dividable into a series of spaces for social, shared, focused and learning environments.

Many of the most innovative aspects of 700 Bourke Street came about as a result of a unique process of stakeholder engagement. A series of workshops, held early in the process, allowed a collaborative approach involving the Woods Bagot architectural team, NAB, Cbus Property, the master plan team and the Woods Bagot interior design team, replacing the more linear approach that is common in the design of a building of this scale.

Client

National Australia Bank/Cbus Property

Status

Built

Location

Melbourne, Australia

Completion Date

2013

Size

63,000 square meters

Awards

Australian Institute of Architects - Victorian Architecture, Commercial Architecture Award and Interior Architecture Award

Upon entering from the main internal street, your gaze is drawn skywards to the triangular atria held by a single expressed column and linked on each story by stairs. From the street level, it is possible to see the entire atrium and, surrounding it, the whole organization literally working together providing a sense of connection, transparency and community.

The 24-meter-deep floor plates offer an efficient plan, and, with the large internal atria, provide daylights deep inside the building. 

Collaboration is enabled by the openness between floors and visual accessibility.

The workplace has been designed using a real-time working approach with the firm's consulting and interior design teams which provided a diverse array of spaces, ultimately driving business transformation and spurring positive organizational change. 

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