AXA Asia Pacific Headquarters

Location \ 750 Collins Street Docklands, Mebourne
Client \ Grocon, AXA
Consultants \ Cox Architects
Budget \ Overall Project Budget AUD$112M

750 Collins St Melbourne is the Headquarters of AXA Asia Pacific, the French based financial conglomerate multinational.

Like many large organisations AXA has designed a purpose-built, large floor plate 5 star Greenstar office building designed to improve the company’s green credentials and also staff amenity and productivity.

The wintergardens are key components of the building void system for the large floor plates and play an important role  in terms of the life of the building and its occupants, contributing greatly to interior amenity, occupant comfort, ability to relax or meet in a relaxing setting and ultimately are central to staff health and productivity.

Four triple-height wintergardens were created within the building void, two on level five and two on level eight. Each wintergarden opens directly to the floor it serves.

Envisaged as highlights of the building that will become informal break-out and meeting spaces for the floors, the strategy for the four voids is based on the traditional principle of winter gardens that capture and allows access to nature within an artificial environment.

The spaces are intended to be symbolic snapshots of nature that add a sense of richness to the everyday life of the corporate office, with iconic planting rather than accurate representations of the environment.

Briefed to provide four distinctively different spaces that could aid in orientation within a large floor plate, the starting point for the conceptual designs were four distinct climate zones: warm tropical, hot desert, cool temperate and warm temperate. These zones are derived from microclimatic compass points around Australian and the near Pacific: Nouvelle Caledonie, Cape Leveque, Recherché Bay and La Perouse.

AXA’s parent company is based in France and part of the brief was to derive from this heritage by using plants, trees and shrubs that were first documented by the explorers, who played an important role in discovering and naming the Australian flora. Each garden represents a different climatic zone within Australasia.

With reference to the rich traditions of European and North American wintergardens RWA was able to provide access to nature in an artificial urban environment.