Xsquared Architects designed and documented a total refurbishment of the iconic Lands Building at 134 Macquarie Street. This was a substantial project for the Department of Primary Industries Parks, Water and the Environment. All 11 floors of the office building were changed. Xsquared Architects created a standardised floor layout to provide each branch with the same level of amenity. This occurred by involving the different client groups in extensive consultation and dialogue.
A fine example of Brutalist modern architecture and highly respected by the architectural community, this 10-storey office building has been occupied by the government since its construction in 1973. This project is a once in 25-year refurbishment and the design was based on current best practice. With a strong focus on the environment and function, the layout of the accommodation levels allows for wide views across the office space, open views to outside and breakout spaces.
The brief required the office accommodation floors to have a standardised, optimal plan, with the majority of the staff in open plan areas and minimal offices. The complexity with maintaining a standardised floor plan while accommodating a variety of different government units posed many challenges. The resulting layout has spaces that can be used either as offices or small meeting rooms.
Each office floor has a variety of spaces which can be used throughout the day:
- Alcove for focused quiet work or private calls
- Collaboration hubs – soft seating where discussions can be more relaxed
- Informal breakout spaces, including an open plan meeting table
- Touch down points, where staff can stand and use a laptop or read with a view to outside.
Deliberate location of the staff room in the eastern corner of the floor plate provides all staff with sweeping views along the Derwent River from the Tasman Bridge and across Sullivan’s cove.
Use of Tasmanian timber throughout the fitout aligns with the Tasmanian Governments Tasmanian Wood Encouragement Policy, as well as providing a timeless backdrop to the office floors.
The ground floor refurbishment with its public interface provides a huge opportunity to raise the Department’s public exposure, the introduction of a café and an informal lobby, help to bring members of the public into the ground floor of this building. Service Tasmania is hosted on the ground floor. It is the main public interface between the public and government services. This building refurbishment aligns to a new service model from Service Tasmania. The addition of a fifth lift, that connects the ground to level 1, allows for public access to the meeting suites and Water and Marine and the Lands Title service counters. The cost of the additional lift has been offset by the need to remove the secure lobby of the office accommodation floors.
Photos by Rosie Hastie, Adam Gibson, Alex Newman