Encouraging staff to interact outside of the constraints of the workstation was a key requirement for this investment bank fit-out

The leather and wenge veneer reception desk reflects floor, flooring, furniture, hardwood, interior design, lobby, wall, orange, brown
The leather and wenge veneer reception desk reflects the banks's corporate identity.

In the fast-paced world of finance, moving staff from one premises to another needs to be achieved without disrupting a bank's 24/7 operations but with careful consideration of the new premises' design possibilities.

That was part of the design and construction brief for Bovis Lend Lease, who managed an eight-level corporate fit-out for UBS in only eight months. With UBS's lease on its Sydney office due to expire, the bank acquired a new 16,000m² tenancy in Chifley Tower, in Sydney's central business district. Features of the new premises include large 4600m² podium floorplates with high ceilings, which suited the bank's requirements for a large trading floor, says Bovis project manager Kelly Malapanis.

"It was a complicated project: technically, this is a complex building, and we also had issues of access, as the building was still occupied," she says.

Creating opportunities for informal business communication among staff was an important part of the plan. A number of informal business environments were created, including barista service amenities next to breakout areas on the trading floors, and the conversion of an inaccessible roof garden into a landscaped terrace for client entertaining.

A predominantly brown and taupe colour palette is ceiling, institution, interior design, white
A predominantly brown and taupe colour palette is interpretd in different ways throughtout the fit-out.

"Not many banks have the ability to entertain on a large, open deck in the middle of a city. This terrace capitalises on the building's attributes and enriches the corporate environment," she says.

A distinctively Australian ambience was created through the use of a vibrant colour palette and the showcasing of the bank's extensive collection of Australian artworks.

Some of the assumptions made during the design phase, when access was not an option, were revised during the fit-out. Rather than installing a new lighting system, for example, Bovis Lend Lease assessed the existing light system and recommended that some of the lighting could be retained. Lighting tubes were cleaned and re-tubed, saving $1m and eliminating the need for long lead times for new items.

"We made sure that each element in the project could be easily configured, had proven commercial performance over time, and contributed to the design aesthetic in a holistic sense," says Malapanis.

As part of the fit-out of the UBS chair, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, lobby, product design, table, gray, brown
As part of the fit-out of the UBS offices in Sydney, several breakout areas were installed, to encourage informal networking among staff.

With only eight months to complete the project, Bovis Lend Lease used an array of in-house planning methodologies, including an internet-based project management tool, regular workshops and sessions with stakeholders, weekly client meetings and monthly project control group meetings.

As the fit-out was undertaken in a fully functioning commercial building, any works that had an impact on the operation of the building had to be carried out outside of normal working hours, at weekends or at night. Health and safety was also a key consideration, as around 200 workers were on site at key periods.

For more information, contact Bovis Lend Lease, phone (02) 9236 6111, fax (02) 9232 8086, Website: www.bovislendlease.com.au.

Story by: Trendsideas

18 Nov, 2007

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