17 Jul 2014

Roof gardens: clients want cityscapes to be more sustainable

A growing number of clients are ­showing greater interest in incorp­orating green spaces in and around commercial sites to create healthier work environments, says senior asso­ciate at Hassell Studios in Melbourne, Matthew Mackay.
Mackay, who was Hassell’s lead designer for National Australia Bank’s newest building at Docklands, says ­clients are increasingly recognising the health benefits of integrating landscape and greenery in the workplace.
“I think we’ve reached a little bit of a slight tipping point within Australia, certainly within the larger cities of Melbourne and Sydney, where we are seeing clients come to us with the idea that they want to go beyond a ­typical glass and concrete building; that they’re interested in the idea of how outdoor spaces and landscape can be incorporated,” he says.
The 16-level building at 700 Bourke Street, Melbourne, which has a unique triangular geometry, was completed in 2013. It was developed by Cbus Property in collaboration with design firm Woods Bagot, with Hassell providing landscape architectural services.
The mixed-use development was awarded a six-star Green Star rating for design, making it a world leader for sustainable designs.
Perhaps one of the building’s most innovative features is the green roof on level 14. Designed to serve as an outdoor workspace, it also includes an outdoor kitchen and communal garden where vegetables and herbs are grown and maintained by NAB employees.

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