Creating an Australian landscape at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

We often look to nature for design inspiration and this was certainly the case in the recently-completed Executive Workplaces project. Situated on level 13 of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the 1,400m² space comprises executive offices, a boardroom, meeting area, open plan work areas and a flexible event zone. According to associate Jane Sayers, ‘Our key vision was to create an inspiring venue that showcases Australian research and clinical care to the wider international research leaders.’

The scheme is anchored by a central timber wall that incorporates a tea point, break-out booths, meeting and collaboration zones and bar tables suitable for either work or socialising. It can also be extended via ‘interlocking’ furniture modules that dock at various points along its edge. The wall’s many undulations evoke the feeling of walking through a dense forest or some other natural environment. As such, it expresses ideas of journey and destination and functions as a dynamic wayfinding device, effectively leading visitors through the space.

Timber is likewise used along the windows’ edge as booth seating and throughout the interior as flooring, wall and ceiling finishes. Punctuated by custom terrazzo feature joinery, the overall material palette is rich, robust and earthy, complemented by seating upholstery in autumnal tones. It’s an unmistakable reference to the Australian landscape, and the significance of Indigenous culture, and in celebrating both, the space is given a distinct visual identity. The end-users’ wellbeing is also improved through this incorporation of natural elements and patterns that provide a sense of calm and relaxation.