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Attention all passengers, this Woodhead design will have you reaching for your passport with the colours and symbols generating the vibe of Perth Airport.
Woodhead was commissioned to design the first building in the new Perth Airport office park development.
The three-level, 9200sqm building – known as the hkew ALPHA – needed to incorporate an entry lobby, meeting rooms and a cafe, all connected to two large office wings that needed to be un-encumbered and regular shaped for maximum flexibility.
Woodhead was also enlisted to complete the interior design of the Wasteralia Airports Corporation headquarters fitout on the top floor of the building.
The design process, for Perth Airports top floor tenancy, was to be inclusive at all levels for staff ownership and the result should be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Access to natural light and an egalitarian planning solution was essential. Another key focus was to improve communication and interaction between staff, ensure maximum flexibility and minimise future costs.
Perth Airport wanted its anchor building to be as environmentally friendly as possible and also an architectural design statement for the entry to the Business Park.
The result for Perth Airport is a space that far exceeds its expectations. It has a high degree of flexibility, which allows reconfiguring with a minimum of effort and cost, and enables Perth Airport to quickly react to changes in its business.
Both main floor spaces are oriented to face 10 degrees to north and south to give the building good passive solar performance, which is enhanced by sun shading on the north facade.
East and west facing facades, protected by dramatic perforated metal sunscreens, have reduced the need
for more windows.
A series of screens for windows, which cut out early morning and late afternoon light, were designed to create feature detailing for the walls and to maintain the visual connection to the roundabout outside – a point of interest and movement at the main entrance to the business park.
The central core links the two office wings and incorporates bathrooms and showers on each level, tenant meeting facilities and a ground floor cafe opening onto a central landscaped courtyard enhanced by a water feature and artworks.
The key focus from the onset of this project was maximum efficiency of space, with the client investigating many possibilities of open plan design, having come from a predominantly cellular environment.
Other features of the scheme include the cellular spaces within the building, which are all internal so that windows are not owned by those staff next to them and a primary circulation (corridor) route giving all employees greater access to the pleasant canopy of trees outside.
This was delivered by designing a series of large sliding panels to the meeting room adjacent the reception area allowing for groups of up to 100 people.
The interesting colour strategy was conceptualised to reflect the Perth Airport – the blue of the sky, the yellow of the sun and the charcoal of the tarmac. This colour palette is featured in the refined materials and finishes of the public spaces.
Bolder colours are used in the staff breakout areas and graphics to indicate the informal and creative nature of the spaces.
The graphics used are taken from airport language and symbols, highlighting the staff hub, meeting spaces and utility spaces. For example, a coffee cup and soup bowl indicate the staff hub.
Large formatted and illuminated numbers similar to arrival and departure gate numbers identify the meeting rooms.
Woodhead worked closely with the Perth Airport to ensure functionality was not compromised by working to a strict budget. Careful scrutiny was applied to the selection of materials, finishes and furniture.
The main structure is steel, which reduced the construction period and building costs, and stairs were installed in place of elevators. The stairs also create a spacious, open feel at the entry.