News / August 2015
Wednesday 26 August 2015
Workplace design on the agenda for HR professionals

Organisations need to move away from outdated workplace design models and thinking, and embrace opportunities that deliver success for businesses, says leading workplace design strategist, and HASSELL Principal, Steve Coster.

Today he joins prominent human resource thought leaders at the Australian Human Resource Institute National Convention and Exhibition in Melbourne putting workplace design on the HR agenda.

Steve will present specifically on how office design builds organisational capital. Kylie Bishop, Executive General Manager, People and Culture, Medibank, and Jon Scriven, Group Executive HR and Office of the CEO, Qantas Group present alongside Steve, showing the value created for their organisations by their new workplaces.

In Qantas’ case, their new workplace in Mascot, Sydney, has delivered 10% higher employee engagement levels compared with the Qantas average, while increasing density by 40%, reducing the real estate footprint by 30% and reducing energy and water usage by 20%.

While at Medibank, 79% of employees surveyed four months after Medibank Place in Melbourne opened reported working more collaboratively and 70% recorded feeling healthier.

Steve has been involved in the design of the most progressive workplaces throughout Australia including ANZ, Arup, HUB Australia, Medibank, Qantas, Suncorp and Transurban, and sees exceptional workplaces as actively contributing to an organisation’s success.

“Exceptional workplaces are built to deliver knowledge transfer, speed and agility, disruptive thinking and innovation, talent attraction, staff engagement, and workforce wellbeing,” says Steve.

“Designing a new workspace, or adjusting an existing one, is a unique opportunity to design the right systems, symbols and behaviours into a business.”

The AHRI takes place over four days from Tuesday 25 August to Friday 28 August at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and will see a variety of workshops and presentations.

Find out more about the AHRI National Convention and Exhibition.

HR conference Steve
HR conference Steve
Wednesday 19 August 2015
Vale Henry Hayward

It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of Henry Hayward, who died peacefully in Kent in England on 16 August 2015, at the age of 93.

Henry joined HASSELL (then Claridge, Hassell and McConnell) as an architect in 1947, and was chosen to open the firm’s first interstate office in Melbourne in 1948. Henry became an associate in 1948 and a partner in 1957.

Along with founders Philip Claridge (1884-1968), Colin Hassell (1910-2007) and Jack McConnell (1913-2005), Henry was a key player in the early days of HASSELL, and so in a way his passing marks the end of the opening chapter of our practice.

Henry was instrumental in developing HASSELL as one of the leading modernist architectural practices in Australia following the boom in industrial development after the Second World War.

Henry’s major clients included International Harvester, HJ Heinz, Brockhoff, Dulux/Balm Paints, Kodak, Massey Ferguson, Ansett Industries, and ANZ which remains a HASSELL client to this day.

One of the many highlights of Henry’s career was winning the Royal Australian Institute of Architects’ Architecture Medal in 1965 for the Channel 0 Television Studios in Melbourne.

The last project he worked on for HASSELL was to oversee the delivery of the retail component of Melbourne Central, an iconic retail development for the city.

“There is no doubt that Henry was a key player in the post-war period that has contributed to Melbourne’s architectural legacy,” said former HASSELL Managing Director, Tim Shannon.

‘His approach to design started with a search for efficiency and finished with fastidious attention to the details of construction.

“It is fitting that his last project, the great conical structure of steel and glass that sits above the Melbourne Central Shot Tower, on which he worked in association with Kisho Kurokawa’s office, is a perfect example of his architectural commitment.”

It is with immense respect that we remember Henry Hayward and his contribution to HASSELL and Australian modernist architecture more broadly.

Our deepest sympathies are with Henry’s family.


Project images:

_Channel 0 Television Studios, Melbourne, Australia
_International Harvester, Dandenong, Australia
_Heinz, Dandenong, Australia

Henry Hayward_News Image_01
Henry Hayward_News Image_02
Henry Hayward_News Image_03
Tuesday 18 August 2015
Workplace futures: design leaders tell us what it’s going to be about

When it comes to workplace design it’s what’s on the inside that counts, where work practices and workplace strategy are redefining and shaping commercial buildings, HASSELL Managing Director Robert Backhouse says.

This theme is one of many to be explored at the Work Place / Work Life conference in Sydney today. Rob joins leading workplace design practitioners from across Australasia to discuss issues facing workplace design and to talk about what the future holds.

Clive Wilkinson, president and design director, Clive Wilkinson Architects, kicks off the day with his key note speech, 'The theatre of work’. Looking to examples from his extensive portfolio including Google and JWT, Clive discusses the forces that have shaped the modern workplace.

Following Clive’s presentation, Rob chairs a panel discussion on how workplace architecture is transforming, using Medibank Place as a launch pad.

“Rather than commercial buildings being designed as a blank shell with no connection to their interior environment, we’re seeing ‘the work’ driving design from the inside out,” Rob says. 

“For instance, at Medibank Place in Melbourne, their vision to be a leading health insurer was pivotal in creating a health-based design outcome.” 

Rob, who has designed and delivered some of the world’s leading workplaces including Medibank, ANZ, BHP Billiton, and Westpac, is joined by panellists Clive Wilkinson and Philip Vivian (director, Bates Smart). 

“In working with leading workplaces we see people connect and collaborate more when they are guided through vertical interaction such as open, transparent environments,” Rob says.  

“This connection is also seen in the public realm, where commercial spaces overlap with the public domain, blurring boundaries.”  

The conference hosted by Architecture Media includes other keynote addresses by Jan Owen, CEO, Foundation for Young Australians, and Colin Seah, founder and director of design, Ministry of Design (Singapore). 

Find out more about the Work Place / Work Life conference

Work Place_News Image
Work Place_News Image_02
Monday 10 August 2015
Caroline Diesner moves to Singapore

Principal and HASSELL board member Caroline Diesner has moved from our studio in Perth, Australia, to Singapore. 

An architect with over 20 years’ practice, Caroline has worked with an impressive list of clients and will bring her vast experience delivering integrated, high-performance workplaces to the region. Caroline has been involved in a lead position in the architecture and interior design for some of the region’s most prominent workplaces, with a portfolio of major projects including the BHP Billiton headquarters and one40william Street, as well as the Westpac Head Office, in Sydney. Caroline is particularly interested in how the physical environment can help shape and support workplace culture and performance. 

“Caroline’s move is part of our ongoing focus on Singapore as a hub to deliver projects internationally and it’s part of our wider international strategy,” said Rob Backhouse, HASSELL Managing Director.  

“I’m joining a great team in Singapore that’s already well established in the region and recognised for undertaking and delivering collaborative design projects, utilising a range of design skills and capabilities for both local and international clients,” says Caroline. 

The studio has a strong background in delivering master planning, urban regeneration and transport infrastructure projects in Singapore and is currently delivering the Thomson East Coast Line rail project for the Singapore Land Transport Authority. It has been publicly credited with unlocking economic and social value through its design of a uniquely challenging large-scale integrated 4-in-1 rail and bus depot. 

The team has also worked with Credit Suisse, Google, the Economic Development Board and the Ministry of National Development to create some of the most innovative workplaces in Singapore.  

“With so many international organisations now turning their attention to South East Asia, it’s an exciting time to work with innovative clients in the region seeking great design by talented designers, with tangible value delivered through a rigorous design process,” says Caroline.

  • UQ Advanced Engineering Building

    Explore the HASSELL designed Advanced Engineering Building as featured in the latest University of Queensland television commericial. 

    University of Queensland

  • The great outdoors: creating thoughtful dining spaces

    What consitutes a great outdoor dining space in the Australian context? HASSELL Principal Susan Standring speaks to Hospitality Magazine about the vital elements

    Hospitality Magazine

  • Ken Maher talks ASBEC & AIA

    HASSELL Fellow, Ken Maher speaks with Architel.TV on his recently elected roles at ASBEC and the AIA, reflecting on buildings he has made a sustainable and design contribution to throughout his long spanning career



  • Medibank HQ: rich embodiment of workplace wellbeing

    On Office magazine reports on how HASSELL created health insurer Medibank's new headquarters in Melbourne, Australia to reflect their ideas about workplace wellbeing

    On Office

  • New 32-storey tower at 60 Martin Place, Sydney

    A new $750 million 32-storey tower, designed by HASSELL, will rise from within the existing footprint of the building in Sydney, Australia

    Architecture and Design

  • Many ways to revitalise Canberra's city spaces

    David Tickle, sector leader for Urban Design at HASSELL, talks about the many ways in which Canberra's city spaces can be revitalised

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • Creating a world class event venue for Sydney

    HASSELL + Populous design the project Sydney needs to attract massive world events, as reported by Channel Ten News in Australia

    Channel Ten news

  • 10 beautiful Australian libraries

    Murray Bridge Library in Adelaide, designed by HASSELL, named one of the 10 beautiful Australian libraries by the Guardian

    The Guardian

  • Point King Residence on Vogue Living

    This Mornington Peninsula house was designed to maximise both entertaining and privacy, and minimise its visual impact on the environment

    Vogue Living

  • Felicity Roocke - creating desirable destinations

    Senior Associate Felicity Roocke speaks about her design motivations and creating desirable hospitality destinations

    Hospitality Interiors

  • Palm Island on World Landscape Architecture

    Palm Island in Chongqing, China features on World Landscape Architecture

    World Landscape Architecture

  • Spotlight on Cassandra Chilton

    HASSELL Senior Associate Cassandra Chilton was profiled in the AILA Victoria winter newsletter

    AILA Victoria

Featured Projects