17 January 2020


Health icon

Barely four months after the HASSELL designed Medibank Place – the office setting for health insurer Medibank – in Melbourne, opened to business it has been declared hard wired for health. A study has found that after moving in, 79 per cent of employees worked more collaboratively, 70 per cent report felt healthier, and 66 per cent were more productive.  This is thought to derive from the range of structural and architectural features the practice drew up to help promote health and wellbeing. For example a ramp from the main entrance on Bourke Street spirals upwards from street level, to allow Medibank employees easy access to bike storage on their way in to work. For those with a preference for a more vigorous workout they also make use of a multipurpose sports court at ground level. Employees have the freedom to choose how and where to work from over 26 types of work settings, which include indoor quiet spaces, collaborative hubs,  wifi-enabled balconies and places to stand and work. Meanwhile circadian lighting in the workspace mimic natural daylight patterns supporting people’s biorhythms. The building and the workplace incorporate an enormous number of plants – 2,300 inside the building, 520 in modular planter boxes on the façade, as well as two 25-metre high street-facing green walls – which helps relieve stress, improve internal air quality and transforms views from grey to green.


City beacon

Kuwaiti architecture firm KEO has launched a tall building project touted to become a “beacon for the city”. The KEO design philosophy for the 220 metre tall Kuwait Investment Authority Headquarters Building, which will come up in the capital city, is based on traditional Islamic architectural principles and ideas which its minders believe must be celebrated with a vision which in a building of such large proportions combines both the past and the future. The idea is to seek a departure from the abundance of Western-styled buildings spread throughout the region so that local culture and environment find due representation. It is reported the project is inspired by four elements based on traditional Islamic design – the courtyard, sustainability, the mashrabiya and traditional geometric shapes. The tower consists of 40 floors stacked in five office courtyard atriums of eight floors each. The building is actually in two parts – the large horizontal podium containing a VIP Reception Hall, Conference Centre, Dining Hall, and public spaces built in the form of a dhow which represents fishing and pearl diving and originally contributed to the country’s prosperity.

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