Flexible fit-out for technology-driven media hub creates an Activity Based Workplace

Zoned areas of noise levels, advanced technology connectivity and varied meeting and workdesk options mean Fairfax Media staff work in the best place for any given task

​​​​​​​These quiet rooms are fronted by a architecture, grass, green, plant, tree, gray
​​​​​​​These quiet rooms are fronted by a native forest photo mural which in turn is fronted by a hanging fern garden fresh air is another consideration for an on-to-it workplace environment.

Stagnating in your corner, trying to think with all that racket going on, and your laptop in the only position on the desk that the cord will reach? Well, that was yesterday's tired-out media office story. The fit-out of Fairfax's new offices reflects a more dynamic, contemporary blueprint for productivity.

Tse Architects created the state-of-the-art Fairfax Media environment located over two levels in a brand new building. The spaces bring Fairfax employees from several locations together into one super-efficient, technology-rich media hub.

Central to this fit-out was Fairfax Media's drive for an activity-based environment where meetings, casual or formal, are held in appropriate settings and where deft sound control minimises distraction, and technology access is everywhere.

Tse Architects designed the stair and breakout landing institution, interior design, retail, gray, black
Tse Architects designed the stair and breakout landing that links the two floors of the Fairfax Media offices.

Both floors of the Fairfax offices are configured in colour coded-zones. On the lower reception floor, for example, the louder red zone in the centre of the floorplan includes the cafe, kitchen, call centre and editorial department. Around this area lies the medium-noise yellow zone, with workstations and meeting spaces. The outer edges of the floor are designated the quiet zone signified by green where workstations are located with pods that provide privacy and acoustic dampening. All three zones have their own quiet rooms, too. The three zones are signified by their tell-tale colours appearing on doors, lockers, and as furniture accents. The colours help orient staff, too if you look up and a green accent hits the eye you know to keep your voice down.

Orientation is important for another reason, too, as Activity Based Working is facilitated throughout the two floors. Staff still work within departmental areas but the only real home base' is their locker otherwise proximity to others, the workstation type required, and style of work dictate workstation choice for an hour or day.

Also addressing the activity-based work ethos are the different types of meeting rooms three in all. There are bookable enclosed meeting rooms, several quiet rooms for two to chat in, or one to make a call in. And lastly there are the collaborative settings within the open-plan environment. These are usually custom-designed booths or a huddle of chairs, with high backs for relative privacy and treated for acoustic dampening.

A large digital screen backs the white and ceiling, chair, conference hall, floor, furniture, interior design, office, product design, table, white, gray
A large digital screen backs the white and oak reception desk in the new Fairfax Media offices, fitted-out by Tse Architects.

Tse was able to have input on the stair design at the time of the base build and so had this widened with a landing adding another collaborative space.

Everywhere technology is to the fore. A screen behind the white and oak reception desk is used for branding and live news feeds, while another large digital screen next to the cafe is linked up to the editorial table, allowing content to be displayed on the screen during meetings. Plus meeting rooms and collaborative booths have integrated screens with the ability for staff to communicate via Google Hangouts. USB ports and HDMI ports are discreetly tucked in under tables, in fact anywhere where powering up and getting on with it is key.

In terms of the colour palette, there are touches of nature such as a green wall fronting the two quiet rooms but overall the tones are subdued, so as not to clash with the strong use of green, yellow and red throughout.

Credit list

Interior design
Tse Architects
Glazed doors by Glass Projects
Window Treatments
Acoustic Walls by Autex; photo walls by Signwise
Feature doors Resene Galliano, Resene Salsa, Resene ½ Baltic sea, Resene Seagrass; walls Resene ½ Merino
Workstations and office chairs
Aspect Furniture
Additional furniture
Ligne Roset Togo, from Domo
Partitioning system
Apex Interiors
Chant Productions
Floor tiles, Keope by Jacobsen; carpet by Inzide Commercial
Perforated metal ceiling tiles and Mineral Fibre slotted ceiling tiles by Forman
Reception furniture
Hay, from Aspect Furniture
Stacked plant wall

Story by: Charles Moxham

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