Axle, South Eveleigh

An integration of urban design, architecture, contemporary workplace, public artwork and place making.

‘Axle’ is conceived as a work of urban transformation. The first commercial building delivered as part of Mirvac’s South Eveleigh Masterplan and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) new campus, Axle forms part of the largest single company workplace in Australia. Around 4,000 CBA employees are accommodated within 42,000 sqm of office NLA.

The campus is an advanced workplace project but is actually about making authentic places to exchange ideas, innovate, meet, enjoy and just be. At the heart of this project is the creation of a vibrant public space network inspired by the industrial railway history of this site and the cultural identity of South Eveleigh.

The architecture, in concert with the historic Locomotive Workshops, defines these public spaces, connecting to the existing neighbourhood creating an authentic, low rise city community. It creates a sustainable and collaborative workplace environment, itself conceived as a miniature city, offering variation, vitality and choice in a refined and deeply human architecture.

‘Axle’ provides circa 5,570 sqm of high quality commercial NLA on a typical upper level, and approximately 42,000 sqm of office NLA overall. Additionally the ground level accommodates a 90 place childcare facility, retail, and generous end of trip facilities. The central atrium ensures a high quality of daylight is provided to all parts of the floor plate. A series of curved in-situ concrete bridges cross the atria in two locations providing connectivity between north and south. These bridges create three individual atria each with a unique character and geometry. The eastern atria is characterised arrival and movement. This space connects to the ground level foyer and accommodates a bank of glazed passenger lifts which incorporates a multi storey digital artwork. The central atrium occurs at the narrowest portion of the plan and most strongly expresses the curved geometry of the plan. The western atrium is elevated one level above the main stair floor via a timber ‘lunch and learn’ stair which provides a natural gathering and event space within ‘Axle’.

A series of timber and glass meeting rooms punctuate the edges of the atrium, providing visual interest whilst creating a series of linked but human scaled work zones. The remaining atrium edges are expressed as series of glass and white horizontal ribbons spliced together with soft curves to create a highly fluid and organic expression.

The structure of the atrium roof responds directly to the curved geometry of the plan to create a softly undulating form of varying depth.

Positioned at the southern edge of the site, Axle brings together the long east-west alignments of the historic railway workshops with a fluid curvilinear form inspired by the landscape of the adjacent park. Like two dancing partners, these forms are interlocked in a dynamic embrace opening and closing, with natural light drawn in between them to fill the workspaces below, creating great spatial complexity, diversity and a strong sense of identity. The composition continues into the detail of the foyers, the atriums, the bridges and meeting pod facades with a refined complement of warm natural materials.

Axle reflects a new model of workplace. No longer the isolated monumental building that stamps a new identity on our cities but rather a rich complex of places which extend and integrate with our heritage, culture of place and our diverse community. The building enriches and sustains worker and local alike, as a lifestyle destination, recreational zone and neighbourhood precinct. The program of the building includes a 90-place childcare centre, that together with ground plane strategies invite the local community in – revitalising the precinct with high-quality retail, creative spaces, landscaping, heritage interpretation and public art. A skate park designed by Aspect Studio was delivered in conjunction with the building’s completion.

Axle provides circa 5,570 sqm of high quality commercial NLA per level. The central atrium ensures daylight is provided to all parts of the floor plate. A series of curved in-situ concrete bridges cross the atria in two locations providing connectivity between north and south. These bridges create three individual atria each with a unique character and geometry.

Axle was designed to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Design and As- Built v1.1 rating together with a 5 Star + 40% NABERS Energy rating and 4 Star NABERS Water rating. Initiatives include high performance building envelope, hybrid AC systems, PV panels, stormwater recycling and rainwater harvesting, and substantial end-of-trip facilities.

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