WMK Architecture, a prominent architecture, interior design, and strategic planning firm enlisted McCormack to undertake a workplace fitout for their new head office in Sydney. We had a chat with WMK to learn about how they go about designing their own office space and the challenges they combat.

The selection of Luke Quinlan and Kristelle Fiori for the design team was a strategic move, given their extensive experience in workplace strategy, design, and delivery. The collaboration with the WMK Board was crucial in aligning the project with the company’s vision and ensuring a harmonious blend of strategic planning and design intent.

WMK’s approach to balancing aesthetics and functionality began with a comprehensive Workplace Strategy. By engaging with various stakeholders, they identified priorities and integrated them into the design. The result is an inviting and warm aesthetic achieved through the use of natural materials, warm lighting, and a sophisticated green colour palette.

 

Overcoming Challenges

 

The design process wasn’t without its challenges. Addressing staff hesitation about the move required a proactive change management process. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for connectedness, leading to the introduction of the guiding principle of ‘one space, one team.’ Concerns about natural light were addressed through architectural adjustments and strategic interventions.

The change of use process for the atrium space involved close collaboration with certifiers, project managers, and builders. Overcoming challenges such as the potentially overwhelming waterfall wall and transforming the intimidating atrium into a warm office environment showcased WMK’s ingenuity.

 

Sustainable Design

 

WMK Architecture office boasts several key elements that define its unique character. The double-height front of house, centrally located interconnecting stair, Design Lab, central void cutout, optimized built volume, collaborative zones, and purpose-built library all contribute to a dynamic and versatile workspace.

WMK’s commitment to sustainable design is evident in the careful selection of materials, including cork and FSC certified timber. Greenery and a 6m tree in the welcome area support health and well-being. The emphasis on timeless, high-quality furniture and efficient waste management aligns with the company’s dedication to sustainability.

The planning process for this project followed a traditional workplace model, incorporating strategy, design, and change management, all handled by the WMK team. The transformation of the space has not only played a pivotal role in redefining the ground floor plane for Charter Hall but has also gained attention from passing foot traffic, intrigued by the unique and inviting atmosphere. The upcoming refurbishment of the lobby area further emphasises WMK Architecture’s commitment to creating dynamic, multifunctional spaces that go beyond conventional office settings.

It was a great pleasure to work alongside WMK Architecture. We are very proud of the entire McCormack team in Sydney for their contributions to the project, transforming an ex-childcare centre that sat dormant for over 3 years into a stunning headquarters for WMK.  Thank you to all of our delivery team, project partners, and stakeholders involved.