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The Challenger project brought together 3 separately located business units into one new location in the refurbished office space in the Hilton Hotel Building. The project is designed to house 600 staff in a new workplace environment over four contiguous floors developing the business imperative of “one team”.
Challenger chose to leave a prestigious high rise city building to reinvent the Challenger Workplace within a low rise refurbished “B” grade 1960’s building. The old office represented the old organisation planned around a central core focusing out to a spectacular view of the harbour. The new workplace design is inward looking creating a new focus to the business.
The briefing process disclosed that their previous premises with it’s stereotypical clean lines and prosaic finishes, which are often associated with corporate office fitouts, did not reflect the values of the company they were growing into.
The new environment provides a vast atrium space, inserted into the existing building, providing a centralised hub of activity consolidating all meeting spaces and public spaces within. The atrium is unified by a continuous stair from top to bottom linking all floors. Clients directly experience the energy and previously unseen machinations of the business by entering the atrium space on a bridge on the second floor. The challenge in the design and construction of the atrium space was that is located between L14 and L17 of the existing building. The design overcame the fire engineering and structural constraints associated with an existing building. All demolition and construction for the project was restricted by the only access to the site being one passenger lift. The other project constraint was that all works had to be completed in a fully operational hotel and tenanted office building.
The highly consultative design process continued beyond the construction phase to accommodate the unanticipated growth of the business which resulted in the integration of a satellite floor with its own distinctive functions and external deck area. The design concept was based on a set of principles developed with the business. Key to this success of the design was the honesty in which the existing building was revealed.
The exposed soffits exhibit new and existing services, meeting rooms are designed as “objects” within the atrium space. These were all conceived to reflect Challenger’s desire to retain a reminder of their transition from prestigious location to the 1960’s host building. All the spaces architecturally and materially reflect the ‘lean, paired back and dynamic’ business attributes, where functionality presides over aesthetics. This is most prominent in the atrium’s meeting rooms which are designed to have the minimum amount of surfaces for acoustics and functionality, while the remaining enclosure was glazed to reinforce Challenger’s transparency to its Clients.
This project represents the design opportunities that have been created in partnership with the client and maximum user consultation in order to not only meet business demands but create a unique place proudly owned by the people of Challenger.
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