The complex and highly technical brief has been embraced and elevated to create a building and landscape that is both integrated and present. The building form reinforces and addresses Constitution Avenue and shifts internally to focus on the democratic heart of the National Triangle at Commonwealth Place, the building form representing the public nature and contribution of the organisation.
Approximately 1800 staff are housed within 45,000 sqm of office space, along with a range of specialist functions, conference suites, cafe and staff facilities. The interior arrival and gathering spaces are linked in a fluid arrangement of horizontal and vertical movement with spatial hierarchy, variety, natural light and views to outdoor spaces. A 400 seat auditorium, corporatised conference and meeting rooms service the departments within the organisation and are distributed throughout the building to provide amenity to each department and level.
A central atrium connects the levels through the building. At the base of the atrium and providing the centre of gravity for the building is a large staff cafe and seating area. It acts as the social nexus and gathering space for the building with recreational functions located nearby, including access to open-air landscaped areas, staff change rooms and a gymnasium.
The Ben Chifley Building achieves a 5-Star NABERS rating and incorporates underfloor displacement space conditioning for improved indoor air quality. A ventilated cavity facade addresses western sun heat loads and allows broad views to Lake Burley Griffin and Parliament House.
The materiality internally and externally emphasises lightness, permanence and quality. Car parking for 1100 cars and a range of external security requirements are integrated into the landscaped curtilage. The landscape transitions from the formal oaks of Constitution Avenue through to the informal stands of eucalypts of Kings Park.