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Barrack Place 151 Clarence Street, Sydney

Arup’s next generation Sydney workplace

Barrack Place, 151 Clarence Street, is home to Arup Sydney’s new offices in the heart of the CBD. Not only an exemplar A-Grade commercial building, but a new kind of workspace with exceptional wellness and sustainability credentials. 

Being both the multidisciplinary base building consultant and the anchor tenant in the 23-storey tower presented unique opportunities to create our own workplace as engineer and designer. 
 
Taking a true ‘one team’ design approach with Investa (developer, owner and building manager), base build architect Architectus, contractor Built, and HASSELL for our fitout design, we took a people-first approach. Both inside and out, the building thoughtfully connects people and supports the wellbeing of its tenants and visitors. 

It is the first building in Australia to be awarded the WELL Core and Shell Gold Precertification. It has exceptional amenity, indoor air quality, comfort and physical and digital connectivity.

 

Project Summary


1st in Australia to be awarded WELL Core and Shell Gold Precertification

6Star Green Star Interiors rating

893plants improve office air quality

Office workers walking up multiple sets of stairs Office workers walking up multiple sets of stairs

We contributed 13 integrated services to the building design, from structures to facades, helping realise the elegant glass tower with its striking ‘picture box’ frame facade and sunshade ‘wings’, rising above the beautifully detailed brick podium.

The podium exterior is in keeping with the warehouse heritage character of the neighbourhood, as well as featuring a new double-height laneway that splices through the ground floor to create a new connection for the City’s central and western districts.  

An offset core was essential in opening up the floors and ensuring considerable choice and flexibility in how the space can be used. 

Barrack Place is a great example of Ove Arup’s total design philosophy. The advantages of doing all 13 disciplines is clear. Our ‘one team’ approach, with the developer and architect, has led to the seamless creation of a beautiful city building, which Arup Sydney is excited to be moving into. ”

Cameron Dymond Australasia Commercial Property Leader

A place to connect

Through our collaboration with Investa we created a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the building that would house our own workplace, and we made a conscious choice to embody Arup’s technical expertise and culture in its design. At the same time, in line with our regional workplace strategy, we have responded to the needs of an increasingly diverse and mobile workforce. 

With the move years in the making, we underwent an iterative strategy and design process with partner HASSELL, to create an office that can adapt to future industry changes. Employees were engaged in innovating and testing pilot spaces in our former office. The final design reflected insights into collaborative ways of working, health, productivity and digital connectivity. 

A striking void or atrium, with bridges and an internal staircase creates a light-filled core, actively linking our 800 people and further integrating our built environment specialists.


Team neighbourhoods are rich in furniture options from fixed standing and sit-to-stand desks: there are quiet spaces, adaptable social and creative spaces and an external terrace. 

Open exchange areas surrounding the void create a welcoming space for employees and clients to come together, while specialist spaces, such as the SoundLab and Lighting Lab, support ongoing experimentation and improved decision making.

We’re proud to have involved our employees from the early design concepts, right through to delivery. Every consideration was made with our people and our clients in mind. In a time where people can work from anywhere at any time, creating a place where people really want to be brings them together, supporting and maintaining our unique culture. ”

Andrew Pettifer Andrew Pettifer NSW Region Leader

At the heart of the office, located within the atrium is Arup University, showing our core commitment to the skills and knowledge of employees and being at the forefront of design and research in the built environment.

The new Arup Gallery features thought-provoking and conversation-starting works that are aligned to our values and our commitment to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

 

Jellyfish, made from recycled plastic, hang from the ceiling as part of the Sea Change exhibition Jellyfish, made from recycled plastic, hang from the ceiling as part of the Sea Change exhibition
Hung from the ceiling to resemble a bloom of jellyfish, the 50 silicon sculptures in Sea-change are a reflection on the impact of human consumption and waste

It is from this viewpoint we chose Penelope Davis’ Sea-change as our first installation. Made from discarded waste collected from op-shops, council clean ups and by donation, the work touches on themes of climate change, waste and consumerism.

Arup had a very clear goal to change the way it works to enable the business to constantly evolve and adapt. The team wanted to focus on looking forward to the ideal future state and defining the type of workplace that will support that future vision. HASSELL is proud of what we have achieved together and how design has helped Arup achieve its goals. ” Steve Coster Managing Director, HASSELL

Wellbeing at work

From the acoustics to light and air quality, the clear views, yoga and meditation room, and ergonomic furniture, not to mention the best-in-class end-of-trip facilities, the attention to ‘wellness’ is unique. Our careful traffic and pedestrian modelling has even enabled cyclists to ride straight off the street and into the building.

Championing biophilic design principles, our spaces are also full of plants which have been specially chosen to create a healthy environment. Our knowledge centre, Arup University, is home to a planted tree to increase the quality of indoor air and give staff and visitors an improved connection to nature. 


We have also designed a low energy, low noise underfloor displacement ventilation system, not usually seen in the commercial market. By providing air through the floor we have created the highest levels of indoor air quality for people and ensured no mixing of pollutants in the space. 

The fitout achieved a 6 Star Green Star Interiors v1.1 Design Review Certified rating and is targeting a 5 Star NABERS Energy and 4 Star NABERS Water rating. It will use 100% green power as part of our commitment to sustainability. 

Our new workplace showcases what we are about: a design-led, socially responsible organisation, inclusive to all, and a great place to work.