Timber! Lendlease completes first wooden workplace

Could timber offices be the answer to the challenges of talent attraction, health and wellbeing and sustainability? Lendlease built Australia’s first wooden office and it’s proving popular

Biophilic design is a steadily growing trend and it has encouraged many organisations to use natural materials in the workplaces to help employees feel closer to nature. But Lendlease has taken the trend to a new level with its International House Sydney development.

Instead of inserting a few wooden panels along a wall in the workplace, Lendlease has constructed an entire office of timber, and it’s the first of its kind in Australia. The wooden wonder sits in Barangaroo in Sydney, and it has been getting a lot of attention.

‘A structure to help lower your blood pressure…’

Not only is the office aesthetically pleasing, it also has a number of health benefits. Designers have said that the structure will help lower blood pressure, and the proximity to natural materials has been proven to increase performance and productivity. The wooden beams that stretch across the open plan office floors welcomes employees to literally hug a tree.

This Lendlease creation, standing at six floors and covering 7,000 square metres, will be a new home for consulting group Accenture. At a time when people are becoming more conscious of their surroundings and the sustainability of resources, this workspace provides an oasis in a desert of concrete and glass. This in turn creates a more appealing place to work, which helps attract younger talent to the organisation.

Absorbing noise

The design of the office has maintained a raw industrial look with exposed pipes and a new air-conditioning system that absorbs stale air immediately. The timber beams and floors also absorb noise, which will help contain noise pollution in the open plan workspace. There are substantial windows that provide filtered sunlight onto the office floor.

Lendlease is also delivering 5 King, the first engineered timber building in Queensland and the tallest in Australia, and the Community Hub at Jordan Springs in Western Sydney, the first public building in NSW to be built from the timber CLT.

A new era

The chief executive of the Green Building Council of Australia, Romilly Madew, said Lendlease’s work on International House, and its other timber high-rise buildings, heralds ‘a new era for timber construction in Australia’.

Could sophisticated timber workplaces be the next big step towards healthier, more attractive workplaces? Lendlease thinks so.

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