Archive / July 2017
Monday 17 July 2017
Darling Harbour Venue Gains Gold for Sustainability

International Convention Centre Sydney awarded U.S. Green Building Council certification

Australia’s premier convention, exhibition and entertainment venue, International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), has been awarded LEED Gold, recognising its all-encompassing approach to sustainability.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Victor Dominello, said that the A$1.5 billion venue, delivered by Darling Harbour Live, is the centrepiece of the A$3.5 billion rejuvenation of the Darling Harbour precinct, and an important part of the NSW Government’s focus on sustainability.

“ICC Sydney is recognised as a leader in sustainable building design. The integrated venue has been cleverly designed to minimise energy and water consumption, whilst still delivering world class amenities for business events and live entertainment.”

The LEED Gold certification recognises ICC Sydney’s work in sustainability including:

_Reuse of 100,000 cubic meters of concrete from the original brownfield site

_Use of 96 per cent recycled steel in its Exhibition Halls

_Highly efficient Central Energy Plant and Building Management systems

_Australia’s largest electric car charging station for 25 vehicles

_A community funded solar array, the nation’s largest in a CBD, providing 5 per cent of the venue’s energy – enough to power 100 homes.

Peter Robertson, General Manager of Darling Harbour Live, said the accolade further strengthens the precinct's environmental credentials, with the broader revitalisation project having recently received an outstanding 6 Star Green Star Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“Since its opening in December 2016, ICC Sydney has transformed Darling Harbour. We now have 30 per cent more public space and greater connectivity through the creation of pedestrian and cyclist links in the precinct.”

Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, noted that the LEED Gold certification will help attract more business events to the venue.

“Today, the business events industry is more focused than ever before on ensuring we act in an environmentally sustainable and responsible way, and this is something we are seeing translate into client requirements.

“ICC Sydney has secured over 850 bookings to date and we expect this accreditation will help us increase our competitive advantage on the global stage and continue to foster the NSW visitor economy. It also backs our commitment to providing world class facilities and experiences for our guests, alongside the ultimate in quality, choice and flexibility for the world’s leaders and thinkers, to meet, collaborate and innovate.”

Visit the ICC Sydney website.

Image: ICC Sydney

Photograph: Guy Wilkinson Photography

Wednesday 12 July 2017
HASSELL announces new Managing Director and Board members

International design practice HASSELL has announced Steve Coster as its new Managing Director, succeeding Rob Backhouse after a very successful nine year term.

“It’s been an amazing – and of course at times also challenging – nine years during which there’s been a massive amount of change within the practice – and the industry as a whole,” said Rob.

“From my perspective it’s been an immensely satisfying journey where we’ve partnered with clients to deliver some truly great work.”

“We’ve grown our presence internationally, often working with clients on multiple projects across several markets and increasingly being invited to be part of some of the world’s most exciting projects. Over recent years we’ve really broadened and deepened our capabilities to provide world-class design and tangible value to our clients,” he said.

Rob will now take up the role of Chairman.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work in close partnership with Steve as Managing Director, Gerard Corcoran as CEO, the Board and wider HASSELL leadership,” said Rob.

Steve joined HASSELL six years ago from international workplace strategy consultancy DEGW, where he was Australian Managing Director.

Steve is particularly focused on the value that design can add to organisations. During his time with HASSELL he has worked with a diverse range of clients including corporate tenants, developers, governments and universities.

On being appointed Managing Director, Steve commented:

“Over the past nine years Rob has provided incredible leadership as Managing Director and will continue to play a key role in the leadership of the practice as Board Chair and as a Head of Design at HASSELL.”

“Rob really lifted the level of aspiration across the firm and has driven the quality of our design work to new heights.”

“Our continuing focus is on designing places people love, and we’re really proud of the award-winning design work we’re doing in partnership with inspirational clients internationally.”

“HASSELL is also increasingly looking beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture and design, developing new and innovative ways to deliver value.”

“We're investing in developing skills, technologies and capabilities to underpin and extend our research-based design process as part of our core purpose to use design to unlock social, economic and cultural value for our clients and their end users.”

“This has included merging with London-based experience master planners, FreeState, and increasing investment in research and development and innovative design technologies. I expect that we’ll continue this focus in coming years as we position ourselves to be valuable on ever more complex, challenging and exciting projects globally.”

“I look forward to building on Rob’s success in leading the constant evolution and development of HASSELL as it seeks to be one of the world’s best collaborative design practices,” he said.

Two new HASSELL Board members have also been elected – Brenden Kelly and Ingrid Bakker. They join Caroline Diesner, Peter Lee, Mark Loughnan, Rob Backhouse and Steve Coster. Gerard Corcoran continues as CEO.

Ian Humble, previously Finance Director, officially retired at the end of June. Cameron Ward has been appointed to the new role of Chief Financial Officer.  

All these appointments were effective as of 1 July 2017.

Image: HASSELL Managing Director Steve Coster
Photograph: Peter Bennetts

Wednesday 5 July 2017
GSK Asia House opens

GSK Asia House began operations in May with 800 employees moving into their new home – and the reactions from both employees and the business are showing that GSK’s vision is already being fulfilled.

"GSK Asia House creates transparency, connectedness between people, and promotes unintentional collisions between people who may not have seen each other previously. It works extremely well,” said Paul Rogers, Vice President and Head of AsiaPac Worldwide Real Estate and Facilities, GSK.

“It’s an environment that will keep people and ideas flowing freely across the workplace – both locally and globally.”

GSK wanted their purpose-built new Asia headquarters to be a place that reflects a culture built on knowledge, learning and innovation and be a ‘beacon’ for health and wellbeing in the region.

As the concept architect, landscape architect and interior designer for the headquarters, HASSELL worked closely with the team at GSK to translate that vision into reality, drawing on our world-leading workplace design expertise and experience, together with local insights from our team on the ground in Singapore. 

The six-storey building has been designed as an environment that helps to nurture a high performing organisation in a rapidly expanding market.

Equipped with the latest technology, GSK Asia House caters to the needs of the organisation’s highly mobile workforce. Its open plan work areas, along with an employee café, gym and various recreational spaces encourage more physical and social activity on campus.

“HASSELL approached the project from the ‘inside out’, looking closely at what inspires and engages GSK’s people before designing an agile, open and multi-layered campus that brings their aspirations to life all around them,” said Peter Dean, HASSELL Principal and project leader.

Located in Singapore’s growing biomedical, technology and R&D community, GSK Asia House sits within a landscaped tropical public realm and among repurposed national heritage colonial bungalows.

The distinctive building features tiered horseshoe-shaped floors wrapping around a central atrium that helps connect people more easily.

The ground floor is open to the public to help integrate with the landscape and local community. Other key elements of the design include a responsive facade, roof-deck and cascading landscaped sky terraces.

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  • 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'.


  • 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

  • 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.

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  • 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

  • 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.
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  • 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

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  • Sports venues must be iconic yet functional

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • The Great Room features in Wallpaper*

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

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