Atrium breakout space showing timber blades and ‘Parallel Wilderness’ Community Environment: The Academy sets a new standard for corporate education globally as well as a new model for the corporate sector in fulfilling their social responsibility aspirations. It has done so through the construction of a unique interactive environment, designed to challenge and engage the senses; an environment within the ‘day-to-day’ work environment that is a ‘different place’; a distinct zone that embraces the senses, changes and challenges perceptions and traditions through engaging emotions as part of the learning process. In order interpret NAB’s brief correctly and engage the community that would ultimately be using The Academy, BVN built the story with the client from the very beginning. Regular meetings with key stakeholders meant that NAB endorsed BVN’s approach throughout the journey and owned the solutions created. The design team in conjunction with responsive environment artists and sonic specialists, worked collaboratively with NAB to bring to life an innovative learning environment where employees, communities and people can: explore their potential; develop their capabilities, and provide a platform for positive change; and develop innovation in their lives, their businesses, and their communities. The end result is a publicly accessible space, open to NAB’s people and the community. It can be used by all employees from across the organisation to collaborate, converge, learn and connect – either by visiting the site to attend programs and business events, or through virtual learning technologies to participate remotely.
The public interface allows the wider community to also experience the space Community Environment: The Academy has been designed to transcend commonly accepted ideas about traditional classroom learning by focusing on experiential learning, challenging employees to expand their thinking beyond the usual ways. It achieves this by using a combination of world-class architectural and interior design elements, leading-edge technologies, audio and visual effects as well as digital imagery to stimulate heightened sensory experiences. For example, there’s a virtual wilderness, milk crates on walls, flickering digital birds and butterflies, changing lights and other sensory delights that add to a sense of wonderment and playfulness, rarely seen in other traditional learning institutions. A core philosophy of The Academy is the idea that learning occurs in many ways through multiple forms of interaction and connecting with others. Consequently, the space has been designed to be inclusive of everyone, offering new ways of working together and collaborating (refer to next sections). Over time it is anticipated that The Academy will democratise and redevelop the organisation by giving NAB’s community the chance to create NAB’s strategy, participate in, and contribute to the culture they want and ultimately the success of the business. The Academy also has a public interface allowing visitors to catch glimpses into the hive of activity as well as experience the space for themselves when it is used for public forums, events and community mentorship programs. More than 30,000 people have attended business or learning events there since opening in July 2009. Edward de Bono has held a learning session, Bob Hawke (former Australian Prime Minister) attended a day for the Centre for Social Impact Yakety Yak series and disadvantaged kids visited The Academy to mix with NAB staff and gain a better understanding of worklife as part of the Foundation for Young Australians program.
‘Spy 2’ training room – the spaces are supported by leading edge technology Learning Environment: NAB required the design of The Academy to provide the following: An interactive environment of wonder, learning and the promise of distinctly differentiated learning experiences; Areas that encourage exploration, development and innovation, where minds and emotions can be engaged, perceptions challenged and knowledge expanded; Spacious training rooms that encourage use of ‘right brain’ that are flexible and adaptive; and Demonstration of advanced and innovative technology. To achieve these aspirations all spaces tune in to all senses thereby stimulating learning and creative thinking beyond the usual ways. The unique spaces are supported by leading edge technology like the 18 metre panoramic simulation walls. At the same time their design understands the ability to brainstorm and mind map on a wall and share your stories is of equal importance. All rooms have a specially created ‘dial a mood’ soundscape allowing facilitators to use music to create different levels of energy and moods. Furthermore, through the use of projection and sound, a ‘Parallel Wilderness’ has been created - a virtual eco-system which co-exists in the atrium space. The Parallel Wilderness grows and changes with the rhythm and energy of The Academy. The content is programmed to be self generating. Technology has been used innovatively in the design of The Academy to enable exploration, creativity and ultimately learning. In addition to the above examples, each training room is also equipped with technology that enables interaction with participants (smartboards); connectivity to remote participants (in other office based locations or through video conferencing via their PCs); projections of environments for learning simulations / role plays (immersion); and engages sight and sound (video and audio capabilities).
‘Scribble’ training space – the ability to brain storm on a wall is of equal importance Learning Environment: Materiality of the 10 primary training spaces relates to the concept and designated learning style for the training rooms, delivering an experiential environment that enhances right brain activation: Self Analysis and Focused Based Learning: ‘Lodge’ - Timber; ‘Zen’ - Light timber, bronze metal screens; ‘Camp’ - Plywood Technology, Logistics, Strategy Based Learning: ‘Vault’ - Black mesh screens, ‘Spy 1’ - White mesh, ‘Spy 2’ - White mesh Role Play, Brainstorming, Team Development: ‘Create’ - White milk crates; ‘White’ -White milk crates; ‘Scribble’ - Xanita Board, plywood, ‘Stage’ - Black painted plywood, curtains, raw ply floor Spatially The Academy is a journey with destinations. The spaces ‘in between’ were treated with the same thoughtfulness as the primary training spaces, supporting a "Learning anytime, anywhere" philosophy. The physical spaces are connected by a journey through the atrium area and the ‘Parallel Wilderness’ which is designed to create a unique and interactive environment of sight, sound and feelings that engage all senses. A key principal of the space is to be inclusive, encouraging congregation and dialogue, thereby enabling all Learners to be successful. This is achieved through a communal area where people come together through replenishment. All participants, no matter what position they hold, join together on large tables for meals, gather at the coffee cart and refill drink bottles at the atrium fountain. Even the unisex toilet’s large washbasin encourages interaction. There is also no hierarchy of seating in the training rooms. The Academy was designed for ongoing change enabling easy adaptation for future changes in Educational delivery systems. A fundamental design principle was that every element or space should be able to do at least three things. All primary spaces except for ‘Vault’ take multiple modes of set up; providing NAB with considerable flexibility to cater for different training programs. The Academy switches from learning environment to community function easily.
The Academy reception with glimpses of the atrium – the primary point of initial engagement Physical Environment: The Academy occupies most of level 1 and atrium at NAB’s Docklands Headquarters. The insertion of The Academy into this building was always considered as an evolution of the client’s original workspace. The Academy is designed to respect and enhance the original building yet be distinct to the broader Docklands building. Paths flowing into The Academy begin the transformation from one environment to a completely distinctive and different ‘space’. The physical space was to comprise 10 training zones; syndicate/breakout areas; reception; touchdown space; storage room; catering / kitchen area all connected and integrated by a journey through the interactive atrium area. Consequently, the design intent was to create ‘experiences’ not just spaces. All spaces offer different types of experiences founded on the underlying principle of ‘TRANSFORMATION’. The journey starts with the timber stair. Designed to slow the visitor down and open their mind, it physically cocoons you, is warm to touch and the specially created soundscape responds to your rhythm through sensors. As participants move up the stairs towards The Academy, they note a transformation from the core surrounds (Docklands) to something that is entirely different. The reception is the primary point of initial engagement and was designed as a welcoming point to a unique experience. The glimpses of the atrium beyond with its interactive projections and sound invoke curiosity and a desire to explore, thus inviting / drawing people into the space. In keeping with the philosophy of Transformation, self discovery is encouraged, as one enters into the Academy through reception and navigates their way between the timber blades situated throughout the atrium space. Made of plywood, raw, white or black, the blades act as signage as well as portals into the Parallel Wilderness, holding speakers for soundscapes.
Atrium breakout space showing timber blades and ‘Parallel Wilderness’ Physical Environment: The blades encourage one to find their own pathways through the space, to take on the journey of self discovery. Participants encounter opportunities to travel directly to their destination or to explore and journey through the blades and observe, listen to and touch the interactive environment around them. The large and spacious training rooms are where learning becomes a reality. These unique learning spaces tune in to all senses - energy zones that affect the rhythm of the human body. The spaces are flexible and adaptive, free of cables / cords and other office clutter. Furniture can be moved around to reflect individual/team member engagement needs and they have sufficient storage capability. The insertion of The Academy into NAB’s Dockland building was always considered as an evolution of the client’s original workspace. The Academy is designed to respect and enhance the original building. It has ‘recreated’ one of the most important spaces in the Campus, Atrium 1. The adaptation of the existing building was fundamental to the design team’s sustainable approach as was the fact that materials and finishes are generally very raw. Typically the atrium space has been stripped back, exposing slabs and columns, concrete floors are polished. The primary spaces with their individual aesthetics are highlighted against the raw backdrop. Materials used have been kept to a minimum with significant use of plywood, recyclable and re-usable materials. There is limited use of ceilings and floor finishes are very simple and serviceable consisting of rubber and polished concrete. The design team looked for materials that created interest but were not embellished. White and Create rooms are lined with white milk crates which were sourced locally. Low VOC Paints and non toxic glues were used throughout and where possible fixings (such as the blades) were chosen to enable disassembly.
External view of ‘Vault’ with ‘River of Words’ projection and soundscape by Eness + Rumblefish Planning Process: In March 2007, following endorsement of the plan by NAB’s Australian Executives, BVN started working closely with Maria Tassone from NAB and her Project team, on The Academy. From the outset, the design team brainstormed ideas on how to meet NAB’s aspirations. Extensive internal investigation was undertaken by BVN, especially into new educational theories. Ideas generated were tested in sketch plan and with 3D model making to ensure feasibility. These ideas were then discussed at client meetings with NAB in which further brainstorming and refining took place. These client meetings took place throughout all phases of the project. The design team and NAB also worked collaboratively with cutting edge local and overseas responsive environment artists and sonic specialists, Eness, The Amber Theatre and Rumblefish, to create fresh ideas and new ways of looking at things, especially regarding the use of technology. In order to achieve the client’s high aspirations for the project BVN had frequent meetings with all consultants to develop ideas in the design and construction process ensuring all unknowns were explored. The design team pushed the boundaries with themselves and all consultants. Every solution presented was questioned thereby lifting everyone’s expectations and ultimately raising benchmarks. The Academy has set a benchmark for corporate education, and importantly, it is a primary lever for business capability transformation across NAB. Maria Tassone says, “We didn’t want this to be a space where learning is done to you. It's about taking learning and education beyond the usual parameter...The outcome is nothing short of world class, with significant interest both local and globally on what the future of corporate universities is all about…The feedback from our people has been overwhelming positive and has brought out a sense of pride in our organisation. In addition, utilisation of the Academy runs at 95% and is booked out up to 3 months in advance.”
‘Vault’ training space Planning Process Timeline: Feasibility StudyMar 2007 Schematic DesignDec 2007 – Jan 2008 Design DevelopmentFeb 2008 – Mar 2008 Documentation and TenderApr 2008 – Sep 2008 ConstructionOct 2008 – Mar 2009 OccupancyApr 2009 LaunchJuly 2009 The following consultants were involved throughout the process from Schematic Design onwards: Eness - Responsive Environment Artists The Amber Theatre - Sonic Branding & Interactive Sound Experiences Rumblefish - Sonic Branding & Interactive Sound Experiences iVision - Technology Installation Management AECOM - Mechanical / Acoustic Engineer Aurecon Group - Electrical Engineer Robert Bird and Associates - Structural Engineer Arup Fire - Fire Engineer
Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture 2010 Project Data Submitting Firm :BVN Architecture Project RoleInterior Architects Project ContactNinotschka Titchkosky TitlePrincipal / Victorian State Director Address71 Flinders Lane City, State or Province, CountryMelbourne, VIC, Australia, 3000 Phone+61 3 9639 9199 Other Firm:Eness Project RoleResponsive Environment Artists Project ContactNimrod Weis TitleDirector AddressLevel 1, 127 Greville Street City, State or Province, CountryPrahran, VIC, Australia, 3181 Phone+61 3 9521 5521 Other Firm:The Amber Theatre / Rumblefish Project RoleSonic Branding & Interactive Sound Experiences Project ContactThe Amber Theatre – Marcel de Bie Rumblefish – Brian Rupp TitleMarcel de Bie – Creative Director / Founder Brian Rupp – Creative Director AddressThe Amber Theatre – 243 Edward Street Rumblefish – 107 SE Washington Street, Suite 700 City, State or Province, CountryThe Amber Theatre – Brunswick East, VIC, Australia, 3057 Rumblefish – Portland, OR 97214, USA PhoneThe Amber Theatre – +61 0 407 318 065 Rumblefish – 503 248 0706 or 800 293 9102 Construction Firm:Bovis Lend Lease Project RoleProject Construction and Management Project ContactHugh Mitchell TitleConstruction Manager AddressLevel 2 The Gauge, 825 Bourke Street, City, State or Province, CountryVictoria Harbour, VIC, Australia, 3008 Phone+61 3 9643 0173
Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture 2010 Project Details Project Name The Academy City Melbourne State VIC District Name N/A Supt/President N/A Ms Maria Tassone GM – Strategy & Innovation Occupancy Date 20/04/2009 Grades Housed N/A – Corporate University open to NAB’s (National Australia Bank) people and the community Capacity (Students) 10 training rooms and auditorium. Capacity is listed by room name: 1. Lodge - 16 2. Zen - 18 3. Spy - 20 4. Spy 2 -20 5. Vault - 18 6. Camp - 20 7. Stage - 20 8. Scribble 20 9. Create - 20 10. White - 20 11. Auditorium - 300 Site Size (acres) 0.32ha Gross Area (sq. ft.) 34,444.8 sq. ft. (3,200sqm) Per Occupant (pupil) 114.816 sq. ft when auditorium is at capacity (note – rooms and auditorium are never at full capacity at the same time) gross/net please indicate 3,200sqm
Exhibition of School Planning and Architecture 2010 Project Details Design and Build? Yes (Construction management through Bovis Lend Lease) If yes, Total Cost: $7-$8M Approximately - Confidential Includes: Design and Construction, Fittings & Special Equipment, Loose Furniture & Equipment If no, N/A Site Development: N/A Building Construction: N/A Fixed Equipment: N/A Other: N/A Total:$7-$8M Approximately - Confidential
Supporting/Supplemental files/Images Atrium breakout space with communal dining area - a key principal of the space is to be inclusive, encouraging congregation and dialogue.
Supporting/Supplemental files/Images ‘Create’ training space – designed for Role Play, Brainstorming and Team Development.
Supporting/Supplemental files/Images ‘Lodge’ training space – designed for Self Analysis and Focused Based Learning.
Supporting/Supplemental files/Images ‘Camp’ training space – designed for Self Analysis and Focused Based Learning.
Supporting/Supplemental files/Images Section showing The Academy Stairs – where the journey starts.