Setting a New Benchmark for the Public Sector

Set to become the new home for the Victorian Government’s Department of Transport, the 13,000m2 workplace and Customer Service Centre designed by peckvonhartel signals a new benchmark for public sector workplace design.

The Department will soon occupy the entire EastCo tower in Melbourne’s Eastern suburb of Ringwood. Their move will see over a thousand of the Department’s people contributing to the growth and activation of the Ringwood town centre and developer QIC GRE’s vision for a thriving mixed use precinct.

Design Led, Individually Motivated.

“The driving force behind the Department’s new environment is to provide their people with a tailored workplace to streamline operations and better support the distinctive workstyles” says Tim Giles, National Design Director at peckvonhartel.

The workspace transitions the Department towards a flexible and agile environment with the new design motivated to support the Department’s shift towards a hybrid work style. It provides a full narrative of amenities designed to support the individual’s day-to-day requirements, and each member of its workforce will have independence to choose their work setting.

Over six floors, the Department’s personnel have access to workstations for siloed work, digitally integrated collaboration spaces and large-scale training facilities and a state of the art Traffic Engineering Facilities.

The design is underpinned by the concept of purposefulness and simplicity – it was really about creating a workplace that facilitates collaboration and knowledge-sharing. The shift towards a lighter and brighter character, choice of environment and the flexibility to support unplanned collaboration was driven by the Department’s workforce”.

Tim Giles, Project Design Director

The Launchpad for an Authentic Co-design Process

Creative ingenuity and foresight characterises peckvonhartel’s approach to the design. peckvonhartel’s Project Director, Rebecca Daff, has long recognised that true co-design requires a genuine and authentic attitude towards consultation with her clients and their people that extends well beyond the formal briefing process, often occurring only at the commencement of a project.

For many of the executives, engineers, operational teams and customer service personnel involved in untethering the Department’s requirements through visioning workshops, the experience has been equally as positive as the outcome.

From the beginning, the design has been a highly integrated processes with involvement from the entire project team. Our practice has a strong understanding of the government sector, and our highly consultative approach means we were able to hone a clear design framework for creating a tailored environment for the Department’s people and also for the community they serve”.

Rebecca Daff, Project Director

Following a detailed base building review, the practice also collaborated with developer to QIC, who adopted a number of the design firms’ recommendations to increase the base building amenity to attract the Department of Transport to pre-commit as EastCo’s anchor tenant.

Increasing the capacity of the end of trip facilities, improving the wayfinding and experience throughout the ground floor and the addition of a rooftop and sky deck for access to greenspace aligned with the experience the Department envisioned for their staff. On the ground level, peckvonhartel designed a double height lobby incorporating a mezzanine which will host a business hub to better support the Department’s engagement with their external partners. There is an immediate potential for the Department to better support their engagements internally, and also with their business partners and broader community – a true valuable outcome.

The Victorian Department of Transport is scheduled to occupy their new workplace in 2022.