Archive / November 2016
Wednesday 30 November 2016
HASSELL principals join New York-based Van Alen Institute

HASSELL Principals Tony Grist and Mark Loughnan have been invited to join the influential Van Alen Institute based in New York City.

The non-profit, international group works with architects, academics, policymakers and communities on cross-disciplinary research, public programs and design competitions that address “the most pressing social, cultural and ecological challenges of tomorrow”.

Founded as a Beaux-Arts architecture society in 1894, the institute was eventually named after William Van Alen, architect of the iconic Chrysler Building.

Tony and Mark – joint Heads of Design for Architecture at HASSELL – were appointed to the institute’s International Council, whose members have worked on ground breaking projects in every corner of the globe.

“It’s a privilege to represent HASSELL on the council of such an important body, and we look forward to making a significant contribution,” said Tony.

Read for about the Van Alen Institute.  

Van Alen_web news
Wednesday 23 November 2016
Atlassian: an incubator for ideas and innovation

Atlassian is one of Australia’s biggest tech success stories, growing from a two-man start-up working from a garage, to an internationally recognised company with eight offices across the globe.

For the new Sydney office HASSELL proposed a design solution that not only reflected the company’s creative values, but encouraged them as well.

The pilot project needed the best team spaces to truly support collaboration and help Atlassian unleash their full potential of being innovative, customer focussed and “committed to making awesome products”.

Working closely with Atlassian, HASSELL assessed and challenged the current Atlassian workplace to develop concepts for the future Atlassian workplace, focusing on rapid reorganization of teams, ensuring cultural continuity and driving connection across multiple sites.

HASSELL Senior Associate Emily Moss said the primary focus was to create a workspace that was adaptable and was able to be reconfigured with minimal technical issues.

“Using an ‘Incubator’ process to test the Altassian user experience was key in defining the success of each concept. The process allowed us to quickly and safely develop, test and accelerate workplace ideas to identify the right opportunities. It also meant we were able to cross collaborate, to test solutions applicable to Atlassian globally, to facilitate team ownership and customisation, and to ultimately develop a ‘kit of parts’ that is uniquely Atlassian,” Emily said.

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Wednesday 16 November 2016
HASSELL + FreeState merge

HASSELL + FreeState merge to offer world-leading user experience design

HASSELL has strengthened its offering to clients by merging with London based firm, FreeState, a multi-award winning group of user experience designers founded by Adam Scott, Ben Johnson and Charlotte Boyens.

The merger, effective immediately, brings together the collective creativity, knowledge and resource base of the two practices for the benefit of their clients.

Based in London and working internationally, FreeState has collaborated with some of the world’s biggest brands including Sony, Nokia and Virgin Atlantic, as well as world-class property developers including Brookfield Property and Exemplar. They are experts in developing user-focused stories, designed journeys and immersive experiences that connect people with brands, each other and places to create a more valuable end product.

“What we’ve seen really clearly over the past 20 years is a shift into the era of experience. By that I mean that people are increasingly placing value on ‘experiences’ over ‘things’ and their expectations of those experiences are very high,” said FreeState Creative Director Adam Scott, citing a recent survey by Harris Group that found 72 percent of millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things.

“What that means is that brands – and places – now live or die by how well they inspire attraction, involvement and a sense of belonging,” he explained.

HASSELL Managing Director Rob Backhouse said the merger is about responding to this significant disruption by expanding the HASSELL offer beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture and design to encompass new and innovative ways to deliver value to clients and end users.

“Globalisation, rapid urbanisation and fast changing technology are fundamentally changing the way we live, learn, work and play. Our clients and cities are grappling with these dynamics daily – and it’s increasingly vital to understand and design for the ‘human factors’ associated with these changes,” said Rob.

“Our shared vision is to design the world’s best places – places people love. This merger adds a new dimension to our practice – market-leading capability in user experience – which will give us and our clients a valuable competitive advantage,” said Rob Backhouse.

Adam Scott agreed. “In everything we do, we start with people – imagining what their ideal journey might be as the basis for designing their ideal future environment.”

“So we can work with clients well before the traditional design process would start to define individual user journeys and map ideal experiences of places ‘moment by moment’ to create engaging, meaningful and memorable experiences, events, buildings and places.

“This process is really powerful in connecting brands and places with target audiences – whether they be customers, commuters, employees, students or members of the public – in completely new ways and ultimately transforming everyday places into extraordinary experiences,” he added.

HASSELL + FreeState have already started working together on client projects, with Arup engaging the practice on its workplace strategy for the Australian region.

“Arup engaged HASSELL to develop its regional workplace strategy and is now implementing it across our various offices. As part of the strategy in Melbourne we were keen to engage clients as well as our staff in the design process. We wish to truly capture what’s great about working with and at Arup within our new workplace.” said Arup Buildings Principal and Office Leader, Dr Joseph Correnza.

“We were aware of FreeState’s past work, and their merger with HASSELL has allowed us to take a different approach to our workplace design. We stepped into the shoes of our clients to understand their experience and how that impacts us as a business. This, in turn, helped the HASSELL design team to deliver the most innovative, engaging and experiential workplace for us. In our opinion, it’s the great merger because it delivers the best results for Arup, our people and for our clients,” he said.

FreeState will continue to operate under its own name and leadership but as part of HASSELL, sharing people, knowledge and projects.

Read more about FreeState and their clients.

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HASSELL Merger_Video
Tuesday 8 November 2016
Introducing Carrie Ho

Recently appointed HASSELL Principal Carrie Ho brings a sharp focus on consumer trends and a deep interest in designing great experiences for people to her work, much of which is being delivered in the fast-changing urban context of China and Hong Kong.

Over the past 18 years Carrie has worked in New York, Hong Kong, China, and across Asia, amassing broad experience in both interior and urban design, from city planning to mixed-use projects.

Carrie’s portfolio includes designing the world’s largest duty-free shopping precinct, the Haitang Bay International Shopping Centre in Sanya, China. She has also collaborated with well-known architect Daniel Libeskind on the Korea Songdo City Mall. Carrie is currently working on the Gree Coast Shopping Mall in the coastal city of Zhuhui, China, as well as the first bricks-and-mortar retail mall for one of the world’s biggest online retailers.

“Designing for flexibility in order to help our clients meet these challenges and deliver robust, adaptable commercial developments is key to our retail design process and strategy. There has been a dramatic shift from ‘big box’ retail to a different type of development – more destination oriented, curated, individual and social in nature,” says Carrie.

“Placing people and connections at the heart of commercial developments is vital these days. It’s all about the experience, and giving people the space and environment to gather and socialise.”

Carrie points to the K11 retail mall designed by HASSELL and located in Central Shanghai as a prime example of this trend.

“The art gallery-anchored K11is all about curated entertainment that brings people together to socialise. It’s become one of the most popular places for people to hang out, whether they’re shopping or not. It’s a great example of what’s becoming known as ‘museum retail’, where malls are organised like museums,” explains Carrie.

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Monday 7 November 2016
RIBA London Student Mentoring Scheme

HASSELL architect Libby Makinson, based in our London studio, will be participating in the 2016 RIBA London Student Mentoring Scheme. The scheme gives an introduction to life in a design practice for final year BA students in Architecture. As well as providing an opportunity for mentees to get an insight into what it means to be an architect and to have their CV reviewed by an industry professional.

The mentoring sessions take place during November 2016 and sees students supported in a scheme that gives them opportunities for mentors and mentees to discuss the role and work of architects through meetings, site visits, and design reviews.

Students also have the opportunity to gain experience in areas such as client liaison, information production/workflows, specialist meeting, local authority liaison, and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Libby, who has been involved in the scheme since its inception in 2012, said it is a great way for students to gain further training in the field of architecture, and for us as a design practice to engage with the next generation of architects.

“It’s been great to see the mentees learn more about the industry outside of the classroom,” said Libby.

“This RIBA initiative has offered emerging practitioners the opportunity to understand how architecture operates as a discipline, while also offering hands on, practical experience.”

Learn more about the RIBA London Student Mentoring Scheme

RIBA Mentoring_news item
  • How Can Data Help us Future-proof the Workplace?

    The commercial sphere is shifting under our feet. So how can workplaces be designed for long-term relevance? HASSELL developed the RAW framework to address exactly that.


  • Buildings need to be curated; collaboration with other fields is vital to an era of experience

    As architects and designers, we have to move away from building and creating ‘things’ and instead create places people love - experiences, writes HASSELL Principal Julian Gitsham in Archinect's 'Practice Diary'.


  • Universities Of Tomorrow Are Becoming High Performing Urban Villages, 7 Reasons Why

    Today’s modern university campus continues to evolve in response to a high degree of disruption. Technological, pedagogical and societal changes and challenges are altering the way we use and appreciate our university campuses. These are the views of Adam Davies who is a leading urban planner, designer and Principal at Hassell.

    The Urban Developer

  • Hive of activity – agile working design

    Agile workplaces that allow staff to choose where they work are making inroads in offices. Liza Young finds out how such spaces will work alongside wellbeing principles.

    CIBSE Journal

  • Perspective speaks with John Pauline, design principal at HASSELL, Hong Kong

    Having played an instrumental role in six consecutive Olympics, John Pauline, design principal at international practice HASSELL, chats with us about his passion for sports design.


  • Q&A: Matthew Shang, HASSELL

    Matthew Shang has amassed a prestigious portfolio over the 20 years he has been active in the interior design industry, most notably as co-founder of Singapore practice, Distillery, and as a principal at HASSELL, with which Distillery merged in 2015.

    Hospitality Interiors

  • Creating an Active Waterfront

    The North Bund is a historic area in Shanghai with proximity to the Huangpu River, and it is now undergoing transformation into a lifestyle hub. Andrew Wilkinson, principal at Hassell, talks about the importance of creating a continuous and active waterfront for the area.



    In hectic hospital emergency rooms communication is critical but often difficult. Part of the answer is cleverly designed spaces for staff to talk in that can help reduce mistakes and stress loads.


  • Medibank In Melbourne Champions Green Architecture And Workplace Wellness

    An Australian workplace demonstrates how its championing of green architecture and design provides a comfortable and healthy environment for its workers while enhancing their sense of well-being.


  • State Library of NSW to undergo $15m revamp

    The State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW) will be redeveloped with new gallery spaces and a children’s learning centre, following a $15-million private donation from benefactors.


  • Hotel design needs to accommodate the ‘blurred lines’ across our lives

    HASSELL Principal, Matthew Shang gives his take on the changing face of hospitality design ...
    Hospitality Interiors 

  • 5 Mins With HASSELL’s Glenn Scott

    The new ICC is a jewel in the redesigned face of modern Sydney. We sat down Glenn Scott, Principal at international design practice HASSELL and Joint ICC Architecture Director, to understand more about the project and what makes him tick.

  • Reclaiming the wild in our public spaces

    It’s part of our DNA to be drawn towards wild and tactile nature. And globally, there is a growing shift to let it creep back in to our cities, to resist the over-programmed, sanitised and manicured public spaces to which we have become accustomed.
    The Urban Developer

  • Galleries need to move away from the traditional white box

    The Louvre doesn’t do it, and neither does the Guggenheim. The Tate Modern’s new galleries make a good job of it, and the Hepworth Wakefield contemporary art gallery in Yorkshire gets close.
    Adelaide Review

  • Reinventing unused spaces and turning them into parks

    A major exhibition series titled Parks Changing Australia, spearheaded by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), will tell the stories of Sydney’s most progressive new parks and their interstate counterparts.

  • Robb Society - Carrie Ho

    Space, or a design of a space, is a subtle art. It can shock and awe. It can beguile and bewitch. 
    Robb Report

  • Sports venues must be iconic yet functional

    Well-designed and accessible sports venues can prolong the buildings' life, says architect John Pauline. 
    The Straits Times

  • Finger paintings

    HASSELL creates intimate spaces with a huge former warehouse to enable guests and visitors to 'gather and connect'. 
    FX Magazine

  • Dennis Ho on Monocle Radio

    Hong Kong’s booming infrastructure projects pull in architects from all over the world. Dennis Ho moved back to Hong Kong earlier this year after spending more than 20 years working for London-based architecture firm Rogers Stirk Harvour + Partners. We visit him at his new digs in North Point.
    Monocle 24.

  • Esperence Waterfront has its future solidified by HASSELL

    Esperance, located 720 kilometres South-East of Perth, may not be the biggest city in Western Australia, but it is blessed with the country’s favourite asset – clean beaches and clear waters.
    Architecture and Design

  • The Art of Business Travel

    Aviation expert and principal at Hassell design studio Mark Wolfe talks with Nick Walton about terminal design, changing the traveller’s experience, sustainability, and the airports of the future.
    The Art of Business Travel

  • The Great Room features in Wallpaper*

    Wallpaper* visits SIngapore's newest flexible workplace designed by HASSELL, The Great Room. 

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