One Shelley Street

One Shelley Street, Macquarie Group office in Sydney.

The 10-story atrium at One Shelley Street is the hub for the Sydney branch of Macquarie Bank. The ground level entry area features a warm recycled gum-tree hardwood floor, which serves as a counterpoint to the brightly colored finishes and stark white structure. A series of pods—programmed for meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and eating areas—cantilever out into the void, which is topped by a canted skylight that brings in natural light. Employees move around the space via staircases and bridges that offer circulation alternatives to elevators. "It's had a great impact on [elevator] usage," says Wilkinson, who notes that "they are operating at well below capacity."

Not technically a pod, the Skybox is a formal conference room that bridges the two sides of the atrium on the fourth floor. With an articulated glass skin that nods to the angled skylight above, the room features bright turquoise furniture and finishes. Wilkinson's team worked with furniture manufacturers to create a custom conference table with inset monitors to facilitate high-tech teleconferencing and presentation options.

Working with workplace consultants Veldhoen Co., the architects determined that formalized desking options were not necessary for the majority of the bank's operations. Instead, the design centers around different "neighborhoods" and "plazas" that offer a variety of workspaces that can accommodate the different types of work being carried out within each department.

Each communal plaza has a series of private workspace options, such as these semi-enclosed touchdown spaces. Employees are free to use them to accomplish specific tasks, but the next day they may find themselves working in a more loungelike collaborative pod. Supergraphics and color delineate the plazas, which serve as destinations throughout the building.

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