The facade on the EY Centre is comprised of multiple layers an outer layer of a single sheet of low iron clear glass, behind which are the automated natural timber louvres set within a sealed, pressured cavity that is clean and dust free. Finally the inner layer is a double glazed high performance insulating unit.
"The result is a facade that outperforms any of the grey glass buildings and looks nothing like them. It is clear and transparent, and the natural colour of the wood glows in the sun."
The automated blinds also create a sense of animation as blinds are drawn up or down controlled by the building management system to optimise solar control. As a result, the look of the facade changes day to day, or even hour to hour.
And if the ergonomic design and natural-look facade set the building apart from the outside, the interior architecture including Mirvac's own head office fit-out sets it apart on the inside.
"The building has been designed to create flexible workspace horizontally and vertically," says Francis-Jones. "This is achieved through the incorporation of a floor system that accommodates future atrium voids and interconnecting stairways."
The EY Centre is also one of the first of a new breed of smart buildings' in Australia and this is where promotion by example comes in. Mirvac's own headquarters respond in real time to the workplace environment and employee needs. For example, technology monitors power and water usage, and the quality of the air, enabling adjustment according to the changing needs of the building and its occupants. The data is used to manage the headquarters, as well as inform how Mirvac engineers can help the company's clients build workspaces in the future.
The fit-out for Mirvac's own workplace was by Davenport Campbell, led by co-principal Neill Johanson.
"To help test Mirvac's new way of working, a fully operational pilot site called the Living Lab was built next to Mirvac's existing workplace. It was then possible for our team to fine tune the HQ project based on feedback from the pilot," says Johanson.
Mirvac's old offices had been over six floors with only one stair, but the progressive company wanted quite a different approach here. So, involved in the project from the time of the building's construction, Davenport Campbell was able to customise the base build and have inter-floor stairwells expanded and given an individualistic, curvaceous form, with no straight lines employed.