Workplace wellness is all the rage these days for progressive organizational cultures, with company-sponsored exercise classes, fitness trackers, and wellness incentives. So why not build a workspace that keeps people physically active as they go about their work?
This is just what design firm Hassell has done for their client Medibank in Melbourne, Australia. Medibank’s new building took top honors in the Office category of the 2015 INSIDE World Festival of Interiors.
Medibank is an Australian health insurer, so it makes sense that they’d want to be at the forefront of workplace wellness. One of the main ideas was to encourage workers to take advantage of lots of gently rising walkways and staircases instead of elevators. To come up with a plan, Hassell adopted a technique from musician Brian Eno: the idea of “swapping instruments” to arrive at fresh ideas. In this case, landscapers worked with architects to dream up the somehow softly inviting, intricate web of staircases.
Since Medibank and Hassell also wanted to create an environment that supported employees’ mental health, they made sure to provide ample retreat and rejuvenation spaces as well as a small park outside the building, and they made landscaping an important design element throughout the structure.
It looks like a great place to spend your workday, right?