Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet Activity Based Workplace Pilot, Barton and Woden, ACT

role interior design project value $4.7m completed date October 2016 area 2,400m² client Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet

peckvonhartel were approached directly to deliver the workplace design for two new Activity Based Workplace (ABW) pilot fitouts for the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet, located at 1 National Circuit, Barton and Centraplaza, 16 Bowes Place, Woden ACT. The department intend to create a benchmark solution from these pilots to inform all future fitouts.

The aim of this project was to create a real-world protospace, a physical environment that could adapt, support and shape an evolving, organic workplace. peckvonhartel tested a range of experimental ideas in the protospace for suitability before their wider implementation.

The design outcome was developed through an intensive series of co-design workshops. The concept became a scaffold structured around a series of attractors, such as a shared Project Lab, Recreation Area and Quiet Zone, each designed as soft, permeable elements within a fluid, open space. The distribution of attractors based on temporal, functional and acoustic properties, promotes higher levels of activity. The spatial borders between defined neighbourhoods contain open settings for spontaneous collaboration or quiet focussed work. The relationship between object and space is therefore mediated by surface, function and flow.

Vibrant colours identify collaborative areas, with green and red reflecting the intensity and volume of conversations and activities that are promoted within these spaces. Softer, warmer tones mark spaces intended for more focussed, individual work.

 An independent post-occupancy analysis found more than 90% of people preferred the new way of working, a positive shift in workplace satisfaction from 33% to 88%, and a perceived increase in productivity by more than 35%. The outcome of this project has implications for the future of the Department and the broader Australian Public Service.