Throughout our Better Built series, we have written about the way an ever-evolving working world is shifting what an office space means to a business and how best to respond to these changes.

Part of the transformative changes in modern office buildings is the inclusion of business hubs, strategically designed by owners and landlords as valuable investments to enhance their tenants’ overall experience within the building. These innovative spaces within spaces are thoughtfully crafted, often adopting an open-plan layout with breakout areas, emphasizing functionality and versatility over traditional allocated desks.

Providing shared use and benefit to the buildings’ occupants, as the dynamics of the modern workforce embrace greater flexibility, these business hubs mirror the adaptability required by offering multi-use areas that cater to diverse work styles. For instance, a spacious communal table might extend across zones, subtly indicating transitions between different activities. One end may feature upright desk chairs, while the other boasts comfortable lounges, encouraging collaboration and interaction.

Moreover, landlords recognise the importance of creating an inviting and hospitable environment within these hubs. Integrating hospitality offerings, such as refreshments and comfortable amenities, adds an extra layer of accessibility and appeal to those who choose to work or conduct meetings in these spaces. This combination of flexible layouts, collaborative zones, private meeting rooms, and thoughtful amenities contributes to maximizing the overall tenant experience, making these business hubs indispensable assets for both landlords and tenants alike.

On the ground floor of 412 St. Kilda Road [designed by We Are Humble for Artifex Property and built by McCormack], the amenities blur the line between office and public space, flowing directly from the lobby with a border created by a café in the centre. It’s a place to stop at or congregate during the day, to take your coffee and sit at the banquette style seating that surrounds and creates a kind of demarcation between the business and social zones of the space.

There are boardroom tables for larger meetings that instil formality for such occasions, but the use of biophilic design, banquette seating, curves of the café and the green and natural hues of the furniture and upholstery, make this business hub a calming, yet productive place to work. Meeting spaces are available to be booked through HUB.

These amenities are making changes to the way we engage with our workplaces, and it seems there’s no going back. Being able to work independently, while also still in contact with your employer/employees has enabled a workplace with the best of both worlds. Hubs such as this are giving employees home-like conveniences and the sense of self we all desire. Through this kind of design – and the inclusion of biophilic design – performance is improved, stress is reduced, and productivity is increased.

McCormack’s involvement in the 412 St. Kilda Road project has solidified something we’ve already been paying attention to; the tether to the traditional desk has been released. Creative and intelligent design such as this is here to stay.