News / October 2014
Thursday 23 October 2014
Designing for health on the global agenda

Healthy Active by Design – a web-based tool designed by HASSELL to help shape communities that support and promote healthy living – has sparked interest from the international attendees at the National Urban Design Conference in the UK.

Working in partnership with the Centre for the Built Environment and Health at the University of Western Australia, AURECON and Bouncing Orange, HASSELL developed HABD for the Australian Heart Foundation to help combat rising rates of obesity and chronic disease in Australia.

Presenting HABD to the conference, HASSELL Principal Chris Melsom outlined how the tool helps incorporate safe, accessible and attractive buildings, movement networks, open spaces, and diverse public places into community designs.

“Designing for health and wellbeing is now on the global agenda,” said Chris.

“There was great interest in the HABD tool due to its simplicity and ease of use. People who had attended the presentation approached me afterwards to discuss the contextual similarity of the work we have done in Australia with their own regions.

“There is growing awareness, particularly in the UK, of the role public realm can play in supporting healthier communities. People were keen to explore how HABD could be expanded to address local planning requirements and regulations.”

The theme for conference was Urban Design For All, Towards A Life Less Ordinary, and explored the importance of urban designers, architects, planners, engineers, developers, politicians and communities working together effectively to create better places to live.

Find out more about HABD.

Brookfield Place, Perth, Western Australia
Chris Melsom, HASSELL Principal
Tuesday 21 October 2014
Dr Agustin Chevez joins HASSELL

Architect. Lecturer. Workplace strategist. Internationally recognised researcher. These are the credentials Dr Agustin Chevez brings to his new position as Senior Researcher at HASSELL.

Brett Pollard, HASSELL Head of Knowledge and Sustainability, said Agustin’s exceptional mix of academic and design backgrounds will help HASSELL to further develop its research programs, particularly in the commercial and workplace sector.

“Agustin will be working with us on new evidence-based design strategies so we can deliver even better designs to meet the needs of our clients and the wider community,” he said.

One of the areas Agustin and the team will be focusing on is the development of industry relevant measures to understand and demonstrate the value of design.

“We know that design can support an organisation’s objectives, but we need to be able to measure the result and impact in a way that is useful and meaningful for clients,” Agustin said.

“I am particularly excited about applying my research experience and industry practice within the international, cross-sector environment at HASSELL.”

Agustin originally practiced as an architect in Mexico and moved to Australia in 2002, where he undertook postgraduate studies in project management and completed a PhD in workplace architecture. His reputation as a workplace strategist and researcher has been developed across a significant body of national and international research.

He is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Design Innovation (CDI) at Swinburne University of Technology. His research around workplace design has won awards and led to keynote speaking appearances at international conferences.

Agustin will be based in Melbourne, Australia. Email

Dr Agustin Chevez, HASSELL Senior Researcher
Monday 20 October 2014
China hotel takes out design prize

The first lifestyle hotel to open in the north-eastern Chinese city of Qingdao has won the grand prize at the Success Design 2014 awards in Shanghai, China.

Himalayas Qingdao Hotel, designed by HASSELL, was presented with the Most Successful Design Award from a field of projects spanning more than 20 countries.

Himalayas Qingdao Hotel is located in Mount Lao, one of the birthplaces of Chinese Taoism. HASSELL drew on the philosophy and aesthetics of Taoism in designing the hotel, creating a simple, elegant and classic place that draws on the serenity of the nearby mountains. The design of the hotel’s rooms balances a sense of intimacy and calm with striking features in the public areas.

The Taoist aesthetic advocates a strong connection to nature, which was reflected in the choice of materials. HASSELL used timber and stone extensively in the lobby area, setting the tone for the hotel. A timber staircase also offers an interpretation of a winding valley.

The hotel has a reputation for exceptional service, quality cuisine and wellness experiences. The 208 guestrooms are a true haven for urban travellers seeking a private place to retreat.

Himalaya Qingdao Hotel 1 October 2014
Himalaya Qingdao Hotel 2 October 2014
Tuesday 14 October 2014
GCI shortlisted for sustainability award

The University of Queensland's Global Change Institute (GCI), designed by HASSELL, has been shortlisted for the 2014 World Architecture News Sustainable Building of the Year Award.

The award celebrates buildings that combine the world's most advanced levels of sustainability with an exceptional standard of design. The $32 million GCI is in the running against projects including 1 Embankment Place in London by TP Bennett, and Powerhouse Kjøin Oslo in Norway by Snøhetta.

Principal Mark Roehrs, who led the HASSELL design team for GCI, said the calibre of international design firms on the WAN Awards shortlist reflected the world-class standard of GCI.

"To be shortlisted for a WAN award against some of the world's leading names in sustainable design is testament to the level of innovation and original design thinking that went into this project," said Mark.

"GCI sets a new bar for sustainable design. Learnings from this project will continue to benefit our clients and the end users of their buildings through the delivery of better performing spaces that have lasting value."

GCI is a world first in the use of structural Geopolymer concrete, a low-carbon product produced with significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional concrete.

The building has achieved a Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) 6 Star Green Star Design rating (certified) and is targeting operation as a zero-energy and carbon neutral workplace.

The award winners will be announced at the end of October 2014. 

Friday 3 October 2014
Fiona Stanley Hospital officially opens

The Fiona Stanley Hospital was officially opened in Perth today by the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett. It is a 783 bed hospital named after Professor Fiona Stanley, an epidemiologist with an international reputation for her research into child and maternal health and birth disorders.

Click here to see a video featuring Professor Fiona Stanley speaking about the hospital design which will promote speedy recovery of patients, be a great place to work and attract world class medical researchers to Perth.

At the opening ceremony today, Premier Barnett said: “It is a huge project, a complex one. It is more than simply a hospital, there are eight buildings on this site, hundreds of beds. The clinical services and research facilities are truly magnificent.

“Everyone walking in here today is struck firstly by the architecture and then the extraordinary attention that is given to the clinical and research capacity and the care of patients. This hospital is the biggest advance in health in Western Australia in our history and will serve generations to come.”

The Fiona Stanley Hospital Design Collaboration comprises HASSELL, SILVER THOMAS HANLEY and Hames Sharley. It delivered urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design services for the hospital.

Wednesday 1 October 2014
Shaping cities of the future

HASSELL Fellow, Ken Maher will travel from Sydney to the UK next week to give the Keynote Address at an international seminar titled ‘City Futures: Challenge and Opportunity in an Urbanising World’, organised by the Design Commission for Wales.

Ken will join a panel of urban designers, architects and sustainability experts from the UK and Europe to discuss how cities must adapt to address the challenges of rapid urbanisation, resource depletion and climate change.

Incorporating his own project experience, international best-practice and the outcomes of studies conducted by the Urban Futures team at HASSELL, Ken will reinforce the need for visionary planning strategies that enhance the character, identity, and quality of public places to create vibrant, diverse and highly connected cities.

“The demand for a more sustainable built world is becoming increasingly urgent,” says Ken. “It’s the key to our collective health and vital to the growth of global and local economies,” says Ken.

“The prevailing preoccupation with risk averse management strategies needs rethinking. It prohibits the intelligent innovation and creativity that is essential to addressing a new age of complex challenges faced by our major centres.

“Designing and achieving cities that are engaging, diverse, creative and humane requires multi-dimensional design thinking, underpinned by strong shared visions and inspiring political leadership.

“Conferences, such as City Futures are critical to drawing designers, decision makers and city-shapers together. They create a forum for robust debate and push for a new understandings of how we should be working together to deliver more equitable, efficient and enriching cities that people want to be part of.”

  • 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

  • 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

  • Brazil will get the job done: 2014 World Cup

    HASSELL Principal John Pauline discusses designing and building venues for mega-events ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Bloomberg TV

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  • Profile: Rob Backhouse

    Rob Backhouse, Managing Director of HASSELL, talks to FX magazine about integrated design teams, creative collision and the practice's lack of a house style

    FX Magazine

  • Education futures forum with HASSELL and CH2M Hill

    With students expecting a 24/7 experience, and learning freed from physical boundaries, what lies ahead for the design of universities? The Education Futures Forum recently talked it out

    On Office

  • 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

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  • Fit-out for a king

    Stores packed tightly with merchandise are yesterday’s news - even if the prices are low. The driving principle behind modern shop design is generosity, says Scott Walker, Head of Interior Design at HASSELL

    Property Council of Australia

  • Spotlight on Cassandra Chilton

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

    AILA Victoria

  • Open plan offices - the pros and cons

    Steve Coster, Head of Knowledge and Sustainability at HASSELL, discusses the pros and cons of open plan offices

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