Corrs Chambers Westgarth Partner and CEO, John W.H. Denton, received a preview of his firm’s progressive new Sydney office at 8 Chifley today, viewing the legal ‘workplace of the future’ ahead of its official opening later this month.
Corrs will be the first major law firm in Australia to move to a full open and flexible office environment, having signed an agreement with owners Mirvac Group and Keppel REIT to lease over 8,000 square metres of space at 8 Chifley for a 12-year term.
With the integrated fit out by Bates Smart now complete, Mr Denton joined Mirvac’s CEO of Investment, Andrew Butler, for an internal preview of the Corrs offices, which as the major tenant represent approximately 42 per cent of the building’s net lettable area.
A cutting-edge example of architecture, 8 Chifley has been specifically designed to enhance internal collaboration.
Occupying levels 9-18 of the 34-storey building, Corrs lawyers, including partners, will forgo their traditional offices in favour of a more open layout shared with executive assistants and junior lawyers.
Corrs’ people are set to move into their new home on 21 October 2013.
Mr Denton said the move reflected Corrs’ commitment to staying at the forefront of the legal industry and fostering a dynamic and collaborative workplace culture.
“As the flagship tenant of 8 Chifley, Corrs is moving to a new, more innovative way of working in line with major shifts in mobile technology, work practices and worker demographics,” said Mr Denton.
“First and foremost, the firm’s motivation for change was to create an environment to support our people to work more effectively and collaboratively. Space in 8 Chifley has been expertly designed to promote high levels of engagement.”
Corrs staff and clients will benefit from 8 Chifley’s innovative design, which pioneers in Australia the ‘sky village’ concept, intended to support a real sense of community and collaboration. Workspaces and floors are linked via atria to create natural, light-filled environments.
While the building offers a range of unique spaces for team-based and flexible work, each staff member will also have their own personal work space. In addition, Corrs staff will have access to communal breakout spaces, meeting and team spaces for brainstorming, focus spaces for private individual work, client meeting areas and outside and green spaces, including an impressive Level 18 terrace.
“Corrs’ new space in 8 Chifley is a deliberate step away from the outdated concept of a ‘closed door’ office and hierarchical mentality. At Corrs, our partnership recognises the best work happens on the ground and that good ideas come from every level. From new graduates to partners, this is about bringing our people together for a more connected and productive workplace,” said Mr Denton.
The Sydney move is part of a wider strategy focusing on the continued growth of Corrs’ collaborative capabilities. The firm will also move to new premises in Melbourne in 2015 and Perth in 2016.
A new focal point of the Sydney CBD, 8 Chifley is a truly global collaboration between the internationally renowned Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Australia’s Lippmann Partnership, uniting the most innovative international design concepts to deliver a uniquely Australian vision for Sydney’s business culture.
A side core and connected office spaces are key features of the building, with seven vertical villages providing connectivity and vertical integration between the floors and adding to the feeling of extensive space throughout the premises.
Completing construction ahead of schedule in August, 8 Chifley is the first completed building in Australia featuring the distinctive design philosophy of UK architect Richard Rogers and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, known for their work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Lloyd’s of London and the Millennium Dome in London.
“8 Chifley is a highly efficient workplace for the future, combining a distinctive contemporary design, adaptable workspaces and leading sustainability features. The design is very specific to the culture of Sydney, providing tenants with inspiring internal spaces within which to develop working communities,” said Mr Butler.
“We are delighted that Corrs, one of Australia’s pre-eminent law firms, will be the first to move into the building and look forward to welcoming other tenants in the near future,” he said.
Calder Consultants’ James Calder, a leader in workplace strategy and adviser on the 8 Chifley project, said Corrs’ Sydney move represented a trend that forward thinking firms were looking to adopt globally.
“The very purpose of coming to work is to collaborate and 8 Chifley is a wonderful canvas to inspire collaborative teams. Staff will benefit from greater access to their peers and the design will help attract the brightest graduates because of the opportunity to learn by osmosis and engage with partners and senior staff,” said Mr Calder.
Joining Corrs at 8 Chifley is QBE Insurance Group, who signed a 10-year agreement to lease approximately 2,800 square metres in April, and data, analytics and software company Quantium, who signed a seven-year deal to lease levels 6-8 of the building in August.
Leasing interest remains strong in the remaining vertical villages.
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