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How Sydney’s historic No.1 Martin Place has been transformed by co-creation

22/11/2018

The lobby and mezzanine at Charter Hall's historic No.1 Martin Place has been transformed by co-creating with tenants in a re-imagined view of what workspace design and experiences of the future look-like.

The Premium-grade office building is located at the prestigious site of Sydney's first ever General Post Office (GPO) in Martin Place, flanked by George and Pitt Streets in the Sydney CBD.

The $2.9 billion unlisted wholesale Charter Hall Office Trust (CHOT) owns and manages No.1 Martin Place and made the investment to transform the space following tenant survey feedback and a design think workshop hosted by Macquarie Bank.

Charter Hall worked in partnership with Adriano Pupilli Architects and Mia Feesey at Siren Design to deliver the refurbishment of the Lobby and Mezzanine levels that now provide technology-enabled spaces, where tenants and guests can connect, collaborate and innovate outside of their traditional tenancy.

Collaboration and shared working spaces have taken off in international markets and with the introduction of shared workspaces in Australia, Charter Hall is co-creating new experiences across its office portfolio including the introduction of profit for purpose café’s and community art studios delivering a more purposeful and connected experience for a building’s community.

The re-thinking of the office experience at no.1 Martin Place was based on the feedback from tenants, who wanted to retain the historic structure of the precinct while also moving towards a modern way of working.

As well as the collaborative working spaces, No.1 Martin Place also includes a new café with a social purpose along with a pop-up art gallery space. Portal Café delivers 100 percent of its profits to benevolent causes while Charter Hall has extended its relationship with north Sydney community art initiative Project 504 to create one of the Sydney CBD’s most impactful, community-driven building.

CHOT Fund Manager, Trent James, explained that the Martin Place precinct has been going through a revitalisation bringing with it a new breed of tenant in what was once the heart of the legal, finance and banking precinct of Sydney’s CBD.

“We’re co-creating with our tenant customers such as LinkedIn, Expedia, Wotif Group, Microsoft, Macquarie and DLA Piper to create truly unique ‘third spaces’ that are an extension of their workplace. No. 1 Martin Place is a shining example of the vibrant, multi-functional spaces being created for our people, customers and the broader community.

“As the way we work continues to change, Charter Hall is responding to our customers evolving needs by designing flexible work spaces that spark innovative thinking, enhance productivity and create a better workplace experience," Mr James said.

Adriano Pupilli of Adriano Pupilli Architects said the aim of the project was to create a place where employees would be 'delighted with their arrival' to work.

"We drew heavily from the interface with the street and that public life and the idea of this being a semi-public space having somewhere to connect with people, feel inspired, a sense of community and just a place to think outside the traditional work space,” he said.

Completed in August 2018, the Lobby and Mezzanine has now been transformed into a vibrant, technology-enabled space where tenants and guests can connect, collaborate and innovate. Natural textures and suspended indoor plants create a warm, inviting environment, and a new services area provides tenants a relaxing and catered area where they can entertain their guests and host functions.

Other key features of the revitalised space comprise:

●     A ground-to-mezzanine media wall

●     Flexible furniture arrangements and bespoke innovation spaces

●     An elegant new staircase linking the Lobby and Mezzanine levels

●     A spectacular architectural ceiling

Mia Feasey of Siren Design said the refurbishment was a collaborative effort in itself. "I think it's been a great example of how interior designers, architects, property groups and customers can work together to design truly great spaces," she said.

"It's activated from the street, you can look up and see that there are exciting things happening, there are people moving and it's inviting and warm."

Charter Hall also has a strong commitment towards community and sustainability which has been implemented in the No.1 Martin Place refurbishment. Upgrades to the central chilled water plant were included in the project which provide improved thermal comfort and indoor air quality while also improving energy efficiency.

As the way we work continues to change, Charter Hall is responding to our customers evolving needs by designing flexible spaces that spark innovative thinking, enhance productivity and create a better workplace experience. Adrian Taylor, CEO for Office said, “At Charter Hall we co-create with our tenant customers to develop unique third spaces that are an extension of their workplace. No.1 Martin place is a shining example of the vibrant, multifunctional places being created for our building tenants and broader community’.