Around 550 Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) workers were brought together under one roof across three floors at 570 Bourke Street, over a year-long transition from various CBD locations that also marked a desired cultural change and opportunity for teams to work better together through proximity. VLA managing director Bevan Warner said: “We wanted to give staff the flexibility to step away from their desks during sensitive calls, and opportunities to connect with colleagues with different skills who they may not see but could help them to better help our clients. It was also important to create an environment that is warm but professional for our staff working in the high pressure environment of the justice system every day.”
▼维多利亚法律援助机构前台及入口空间，front desk and entrance area of Victoria Legal Aid
▼办公空间开放灵活，flexible and opening work space
The new supported open-plan office has been designed to offer a more welcoming environment to both clients and staff by replacing the imposing walled offices and intimidating corridors with vibrant cafe-style spaces, collaborative work areas, quiet zones and meeting “cubbies” and booths. More formal meeting rooms were also an essential part of the design for when client confidentiality and privacy is required.
▼咖啡馆风格的无隔墙空间，cafe-style spaces without walls
▼用于交谈与会客的半开放小隔间，semi-enclosed booths for meeting and conversation
▼开放交谈区相对安静的区域，opening meeting point and relatively quiet zone
维多利亚法律援助机构希望新的工作环境能够营造一种更加社会化的工作文化，并通过彻底打破隔墙来消解原有法律界的等级感。为了避免向新开放式工作方式的转变产生任何工作文化冲击，并且为了满足VLA所有的设计需求，在设计建造开始之前，设计师对员工进行了咨询，包括研究讨论会与需求分析访谈。Gray Puksand室内设计师兼合伙人Heidi Smith说：“维多利亚法律援助机构的项目团队懂得设计开始前的研讨会成果是项目最重要的部分，他们为此专门留出了时间，让员工一同加入设计过程并贡献自己的力量。”
Victoria Legal Aid hopes its new work environment will create a more social workplace culture and overturn the traditional hierarchy of the legal fraternity by literally breaking down the walls. To avoid any workplace culture shock with the shift to a new open way of working and to get the design right to meet all of VLA’s needs, a staff consultation process comprised of workshops and needs analysis interviews was undertaken before the design and build began. “Their Victoria Legal Aid project team understood that the outcomes of the pre-design workshops were the most important part of the project and they set time aside for it, got people on board and got them to commit to the process,” said Gray Puksand interior designer and partner Heidi Smith.
The sunlit focal point of the office is a central 10-storey glass atrium with a stairway between floors. Health and well-being of staff was a prime consideration with the addition of standing desks and plenty of natural light filling the office and access to two roof decks.
▼10层高的玻璃中庭及内部连接各层的楼梯，0-storey glass atrium with a stairway between floors
▼中庭及内部会议室，atrium and small meeting room
▼屋顶办公空间，roof working space
Project size – 8751 sqm
Completion date – 2018