A showcase of Microsoft's leading technology with forward-thinking workplace design
As part of the staged works for Microsoft’s North Ryde workplace refurbishment, the 2600m2 reception floor has now been completed. This floor showcases the international software development company; key drivers included designing a space that reflected and supported the company’s culture and technology in a live working backdrop. The ground floor environment provides a concierge service for guests and consists of a variety of meeting spaces, presentation rooms, training rooms and an arrangement of state of the art function areas. Three main ‘destination zones’ have been built around the notions of Greet, Guest and Café.
‘Greet’ includes a custom designed interface screen that encircles the waiting area and showcases the products and services of Microsoft. Three main industries of the business are exhibited here – mobile, home and work – allowing the visitor to interact with new technologies and other innovative products prior to their market release. In addition there is a concierge style desk, allowing the receptionist to physically welcome visitors as they arrive.
‘Guest’ includes the client meeting spaces; these are technologically sophisticated and populated with furniture that is easily reconfigurable to support various meeting types. Informal meeting rooms are provided to help provide environments that facilitate discussion openly. Multipurpose rooms allow for conference or training style meetings and with the use of operable walls these can be opened into one large event space. Connected to this event space is a catered breakout area.
‘Café’ is designed for multiple uses including staff functions and press conferences. The variety of settings includes meeting spaces, high back lounges, high bench tables and team tables. The design solution was a direct response to the previous underutilisation of the cafe space with operational hours now extended to encompass the entire day. And as the café is now used for external functions such as the launch of new products a separate secure entrance has been designed to facilitate this.
The ceiling height throughout the ground floor is 4m allowing the design of meeting rooms as ‘blocks’ or defined objects in the interior. The negative space around these ‘blocks’ becomes ad hoc space for informal meetings or more confidential activities. Overall the design concept for Microsoft’s refurbished HQ realises the company’s intention to significantly reinforce their presence and products in the Australian market.