Perth, Australia – To understand architect Woods Bagot’s redesign of KPMG’s Perth office, one must trace the history of the surrounding site: the 6,300-sq-m Australian workspace is situated on Spring Street, a location traditionally revered by the local Nyoongar people as a peaceful no-warfare zone. Inspired by that Indigenous culture, the Woods Bagot team developed a workplace framed around references to Nyoongar traditions.
KPMG and Woods Bagot collaborated with Indigenous Australian elder, activist, educator and cultural consultant Dr Richard Walley to authentically incorporate local rituals into the design. One reference is to the historical practice of controlled burning, the strategic use of fire to remove old debris and stimulate growth: Woods Bagot manifested the tradition into an interior strategy the designers call ‘regeneration for the next generation’.
The ‘regeneration’ speaks of the designers’ intent to design for what they believe to be the future of workspaces, namely flexible and agile interiors. Having decided to extend their office lease for another 12 years, KPMG spatially regenerated the design of their original, highly segmented workspace of individual offices and assigned seating, into one that accommodates growth and flexibility. The redesign embraces an agile, open-plan arrangement that reduces the office’s total workplace design by ten per cent, while simultaneously supporting a ten per cent increase in employee growth.