BAE Canberra Office Accommodation

DesignInc was engaged by BAE Systems Australia to design their new corporate facility in Canberra CBD, addressing principles of identity, collaboration, flexibility & growth.

The 3,300m2 of space selected in Childers Square is split between two floors. Level 1 accommodates 1,100m2 of office space out of which 365m2 is open plan work space with the remainder allocated for future growth. Level 2 accommodates 2,200m2 of training spaces, electronics R&D laboratories and both classified (secure) and unclassified work areas.

Wherever possible the fit-out maximises natural light penetration and visual connection from the interior to the surroundings hills and cityscape views by arranging enclosed spaces adjacent to the core and open plan work areas along the perimeter glazing. A number of alternate and flexible settings including cafe, tea making areas, enclosed quiet rooms and acoustic lounge booths provide space for socialising, collaborative discussion or quiet work. These spaces implement a strategic cultural shift for this organisation where previously burrowing down in an insular work environment was the norm.

A clean palette of materials and finishes with an emphasis on ‘Warm and Contemporary’ are used to create a corporate, light filled, open plan workspace. Custom detailed timber panelling lines the core area walls. This introduces a warm natural texture whilst aiding the longevity of the surfaces in these high traffic spaces. These walls also serve as a functional element to house storage cupboards, whiteboards, pinboards and magnetic surfaces.

The existing tenancy carpets, lights, ceiling grid and ceiling tiles have been re-used in the new fit-out where possible to ensure minimal wastage of materials. Off cuts from the timber wall panelling have also been designed into custom joinery dividing the work areas.

The greatest challenge for the project was the extremely tight construction timeframe of 13 weeks to ensure that our client was able to move out from their current leased facility which was scheduled for demolition. The construction programme was assessed against the client’s brief and a two stage handover of areas was determined as being the best solution in alleviating the time constraints without compromising on design and build quality.

Stage 1 (level 2) was completed in the required 13 weeks timeframe whilst Stage 2 (level 1) was completed 4 weeks later. Our client was able to manage staff decanting to facilitate this staged handover without a loss of productivity.

Led by DesignInc, a tight 4 month Client consultation, design and documentation timeframe was achieved by a well managed team which included Aurecon for Building Services & Arup for security advice. During construction, builder SMI Group led a collaborative and efficient construction team on site. DesignInc also collaborated with Inklab for storyboards and custom graphics to create a refreshed corporate identity throughout the fit-out.

The project was a successful collaboration to deliver within the client’s constraints of time and budget.


Australian Capital Territory

BAE Systems Australia