Situated in the Melbourne Docklands, at 700 Bourke Street, between Southern Cross Station and Etihad Stadium, the new headquarters of the National Australia Bank (NAB) designed by Woods Bagot is characterised by its “triangularity”. As the architect explains, “The architecture embraces the triangle as its primary visual motif, with a magnificent triangular atrium rising through the centre of the building. Three vertical fissures snake their way down the façade of the building, breaking down the scale of the enormous footprint. Triangulated façade panels on the exterior of these “cathedral windows” are coloured red, orange, yellow and green”.
The distribution of spaces follows an in-depth reflection on the topics of the new approaches to work, from virtual work to mobility, and the research into the optimum environments for performing professional activities. “The total floor area of 75,000m2 is positioned around a central, light-filled atrium and divided into eight zones that act as hubs for 50 people, with the added flexibility of 100 drop-in staff, community and consultants. Each of these zones are subsequently sub-dividable into a series of spaces for social, shared, focused and learning environments.”
The design also places particular attention on the clear distinction between the main entrance, which is strictly pedestrian, and the street access reserved for cars on the basement level. With an explicit reference to the thoughts of Le Courbusier and his experimentations separating cars and people.