07/05/2018 - 09:55

Urbanism an element of new digs

07/05/2018 - 09:55


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Element’s fitout at Hawaiian’s Parmelia House seeks to reflect the urban planning firm’s new brand.

Urbanism an element of new digs
Element wanted to promote an open and collaborative work culture, while using workplace design to reflect the business’s role as urbanists. Photos: Attila Csaszar

Street pavers lining the lobby and wooden seating steps like those of a town square meeting place are among the design features of planning firm Element’s new home that exhibit its core offering, according to director Andrew Howe.

“We wanted people to come out of the lift and think ‘this is different’, but also that this was the beginnings of a main street, to reflect what we do as urbanists,” Mr Howe told Business News.

“The space is zoned, creating common areas, key working areas and a multitude of different types of meeting spaces (and we are) able to offer those spaces to clients as well.

“And we also wanted something that encouraged creativity; I don’t think you can make someone creative, but you can deliver an environment that helps.”

Formerly known as TPG + Place Match, Element shifted to Parmelia House at 191 St Georges Terrace last month to coincide with the launch of its rebrand.

Mr Howe said a colour stream featured across the office’s walls and meeting room windows was another nod to the urban planning firm’s services, as well as its new brand.

“It’s a component of our brand and we wanted to integrate it into the office; it’s about how our business brings (together) art and science – the lots of threads we pull together and unify; we’ve got planners, architects, photographers and marketers all under the same roof,” he said. 

Element has taken up a seven-year lease, with the option to extend for a further five years, committing to 845 square metres across levels 18 and 19.

Built by SHAPE and designed by IA Group, both floors have undergone significant refurbishment, including increasing access to level 19, which was originally home to the building’s caretaker when Parmelia House was built in 1971.

IA Group regional director Nick O’Hara said major works included creating lift space for level 19, opening up an existing enclosed staircase, refurbishing an outdoor deck area, as well as raising the ceiling and creating floor-to-roof windows to maximise natural light and views.

“Part of the building façade had to be demolished to get the interior exterior connection and to make the most of panoramic views,” he said.

“The fitout is more open and dynamic, and not your average office interior. It’s exactly where businesses should be moving to; it’s flexible, light, and collaborative.”

The overhaul of levels 18 and 19 follows a number of upgrade investments Parmelia House landlord Hawaiian has made recently, including a revamp of level six and seven for Flux earlier this year.

Hawaiian general manager Richard Kilbane said Element was a previous tenant and that Hawaiian had a long association with the business through projects such as Claremont Quarter.

In addition to refurbishing spaces, Mr Kilbane said Hawaiian planned to introduce a new tenant portal later this year to complement its concierge services by providing extra information to tenants.

In 2017, Parmelia House was named WA commercial property of the year and also received the outstanding refurbishment honour at the Property Council of Australia property awards.


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