Stack Interiors 4 Southern Cross Healthcare

Offices & Workplace Environments 2021 Credits
  • Creative Directors
    Jesse James Smith, Jacquette Barrington
  • Design Director
    David Plaistowe
  • Team Members
    Iva Parapunova, Sally Vandal

Project Brief
Southern Cross have moved away from being just Health Insurance providers towards a being a Health Assurance Partner to their members and staff. Their new workspace would be a beacon of what it means to prioritise staff health and wellbeing. The new workspace design strategy was to transition to new efficient agile/mobile ways of working while supporting the health and mental well-being of staff. The common areas and facilities would need to intuitively drive better wellbeing outcomes and the flexible primary working environment would give staff the freedom to choose the type of space they want to work in, based on the space that best suited their performance or personal preference.
Response to Brief
Visitors and staff are greeted with immediate human interaction upon arrival at the concierge desk. Meeting pods and an adjacent host kitchen allows for interaction in a relaxed welcoming environment. Meeting room glazed operable walls allow for various open and private configurations. This multipurpose space supports functions from financial wellbeing seminars through to yoga classes and is deliberately located in the arrival area to include the broader business community. Positioned ‘Parkside’ to Victoria Park and additional interior planting draws nature into the building. Workspaces are flexible but simple leading to more effective use and reduced stress for agile teams.
Material and detailing intent
Natural forms and materials with extensive planting create a biophilic environment enhancing well-being. Use of natural materials including stone, plaster renders to walls and planters, timber wall paneling and ceiling treatments, and liberal timber furnishings create a warm spa-like experience. Fluid curved forms and pathways create an organic experience and encourage healthy movement.
The café’s sliding doors and operable shade structures allow for outdoor flow and use of the outdoor space in most weather. The staff kitchen is broken into; drink, prep, and washup stations yet it is comprised of mostly servery, promoting healthy workplace relationships through the act of hospitality.
Innovation and creativity
Various design cues have been used to intuitively guide behaviour and building usage without protocols, policies, and wayfinding. The café and host kitchens draw from hospitality design and foster social interaction at the heart of the space. Scrum zones are in close proximity of the flexible agile teams while enclosed meeting rooms are in naturally private quiet locations. Collaborative spaces are integrated into the café space allowing for small or large work catchup in a relaxed setting. This is supplemented with thoughtful AV technology integration including booking and monitoring systems throughout. This workplace demonstrates an innate care toward its diverse 600 plus occupants.