The design of Kapitol Group’s new headquarters in the heart of Melbourne’s city center embraces biophilia, and Big River Group’s timber adds significantly to this connection to nature.
Offering a new typology of office space, Kapitol Group offices have been designed with the future of work in mind. Responding to the challenges of a post-pandemic office world and contemporary workplace needs, the design reinvigorates the coworking industry into a revolutionary space that has end-user well-being at heart.
Kapitol Group, a two-tier private construction company working in sectors including commercial, education, industrial and residential, has engaged innovative architecture and design firm, March Studio, to design its new much larger head office in Melbourne’s CBD. The result is a clean, functional and very pleasant space.
“The project is a direct response to how its end user will occupy it and engage with it. We drew inspiration from a variety of different work environments to provide a space that supports flexible working arrangements and is designed to maximize employee well-being,” says architect Rodney Eggleston of March Studio.
By merging a range of modern office solutions including open spaces, activity rooms and conference rooms, Kapitol Group will be able to adapt its space needs as its needs change. A range of on-site amenities have also been incorporated to provide everything employees will need to stay productive in a comfortable, highly functional and visually appealing space.
The design adopts a biophilic methodology and the incorporation of greenery throughout the space creates a calming atmosphere. The use of Big River Group wood also helps create a sense of connection with nature. In line with the design narrative, wood is well known for enhancing well-being in an indoor environment and plays an important role in bringing indoor and outdoor spaces together.
The Kapitol Group wanted a sustainably sourced Australian wood product for the floors, walls, desks and furniture in their new offices, with the requirement that it be sturdy enough to handle foot traffic while still showcasing the craftsmanship and attention to detail which the construction company is well known for. Big River Group’s premium plywood products, Armourpanel and ArmourFloor in Spotted Gum, were specified, adding depth and richness to the overall design.
A bonding feature everywhere, Big River’s decorative plywood products combine the stunning intimacy of native woods with the rugged durability of a precision structural product. Because the species’ unique granular structures are preserved, they have a distinctly natural appeal and are popular choices for biophilic design.
In addition to the goal of serving the well-being of Kapitol employees, March Studio worked alongside Living Edge to select interior elements that would directly address the well-being of the end user. Each desk in the office can be electronically adjusted for sitting and standing, an important OHS requirement for the modern office environment.
“We are delighted with our new headquarters. It was important for us to collaborate with an architect and designer who had a vision of a modern office layout that was not only functional but also in line with our values of sustainability in construction. The result speaks for itself – we had no problem encouraging our staff to return to the office after the COVID closures – our office is full almost every day,” says Andrew Deveson, co-founder and director of Kapitol Group.
Rated as one of Australia’s Best Workplaces by WRK+ in 2021, Kapitol Group Offices is a collaboration between Kapitol Group, March Studio and Living Edge.
Photography: Damien Kook