Woods Bagot recently collaborated with People's Choice to create the credit union's new headquarters at 50 Flinders Street. The HQ was designed to strengthen the community culture within the organisation and empower employees.
Using a next-generation Activity-Based Working philosophy, the new headquarters reflects a dynamic member and community focused organisation, which promotes collaboration across the business and encourages staff to work better together. The relocation saw around 600 staff, based at three separate locations, move from an environment that was heavily paper-based with technology that didn't support mobility, to an agile and progressive workplace.
"The client was always at the core of the design process and we spent a lot of time with People's Choice staff to work out exactly where the credit union saw itself in the future," said Principal and Interior Designer Rosina Di Maria.
"People's Choice thinks differently to a bank; it's about community and member engagement. The design was about authenticity of the brand and really understanding the client, its members and the community. It's about people, not profit.
"People's Choice believes that the community is the heart of the credit union. We structured our design based on how community operates. Flourishing communities operate when they are organically formed and engaged when they have a heart.
"The heart, or the core of the building, was created through the addition of a café and the roof of the building was turned into a roof deck entertainment area for community and company events. This was coupled with large expansive training meeting spaces which can open up to create platforms for informal and formal meetings."
Rosina said a big factor in the design was about creating an environment where people felt engaged, happy and able to flourish in their respective fields.
"Our team assessed how we could innovate further in workplace design to engage the workers and make them feel part of a community, while living the values of the credit union. We looked at how to encourage positive behaviours in the work environment to create a better co-working environment, break down the 'silos' and achieve improved business solutions, always with the wellbeing of the individual at the core.
"What we have created is a next-generation working environment which takes on a more human response to achieving business solutions."
Photos: David Sievers Photography