Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Designed by BVN in association with Clive Wilkinson Architects
Area: 258,000 SF
Photo: Brett Boardman
After residing in the prestigious No. 1 Martin Place for years, Macquarie Group acquired its own headquarters premises at 50 Martin Place. Their new location is a heritage building, formerly the Government Savings Bank of NSW, built between 1925 and 1928 in the Beaux-Art style. The building was seen as both a landmark financial institution and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest engineering technology of the time, and Macquarie has continued to uphold these ideals. The new refurbishment boasts the latest engineering and technological initiatives, coupled with a 6 Star Green Star rating and the first building in Australia to receive WELL certification.
Macquarie’s new workplace is an evolution of the benchmark projects at One Shelley Street and Ropemaker Place, both designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, and is highly tailored to the business activities that inhabit it. The central atrium remains the symbolic heart of the building, and the refurbishment considerably enlarges the atrium on the east and west sides to allow more daylight to filter down and increase visual connectivity between floors. The centerpiece is a stair that weaves around the atrium, bridging all of the business units while showcasing the trading floor environment of the investment bank below. Offices and conference rooms puncture the edge to create a link between the atrium and the floor plates.
Strategically positioned halfway up the atrium are the café and barista bar that create yet another layer of connectivity and excitement within Macquarie’s new workplace. Each floor has its own breakout space, an area for meetings, networking, and socializing, while still remaining a highly functional kitchen space. Meanwhile, the Design Team implemented Activity Based Working (ABW), a transformational business strategy that provides people with a choice of settings for a variety of activities, which allows departments and teams to expand and contract as necessary. Sit-stand desks were also incorporated for the traders.
50 Martin Place is a world-class precedent for the next generation of financial services. The building, refurbished to be sympathetic to its past while still successfully incorporating contemporary design with state-of-the-art technology and sustainability initiatives, is truly a model for the new global office building.