Australia’s first skyscraper, ICI House (now Orica House), has celebrated its 60th anniversary and will welcome Hub Australia as a new tenant in 2019.
Completed in 1958, Bates Smart’s 19-storey glazed curtain wall tower set the standard for modern vertical workplace design and propelled Melbourne to become the modern city it is today.
ICI House was Australia’s tallest office tower when built and remains a highly sought-after workplace for its slim, flexible floorplates and classic design.
Bates Smart Director, Kellie Payne, said ICI House’s design was human centred and it thought through how people would work in the future and provided the ideal environment; surpassing even today’s modern wellbeing criteria.
“The design focused on integrating the ground plane into landscaped courtyards with water features. All parts of the floor have great access to light and views, it has an open, interconnecting stair off the lobby and artwork is seamlessly integrated throughout the architecture. Not to mention the original occupants had a staff cafe, gym and roof terrace.”
Flash forward to now, plans are in motion for Bates Smart to deliver a next-gen workplace design for co-working operator Hub Australia – showcasing the building’s flexibility to accommodate contemporary ways of working 60 years on.
Spanning 2,700 square metres, the new coworking space (known as Hub Parliament Station), will accommodate 400-500 members and include café, integrated barista bar/hot desks, large serviced meeting rooms, private offices for teams 2 to 20 that can be open or screened, a member’s lounge and a range of other wellness rooms.
Hub Australia CEO and Founder, Brad Krauskopf said they are always looking for unique buildings with a story and a history that their members can then weave into their own narrative.
“We were first drawn to Orica House because of its history, lobby and views and the floorplates are about as good as it gets. Side core and skinny long rectangle means there is not a bad seat in the house when it comes to natural light,” he said.
“Design is critical to making the space work for our customers and our business. The design brief was about creating an experience that fits the building, the location and the Hub Australia brand.”
Hub Parliament Station is forecast to open mid-2019.