Capital Airport Group

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Moving Capital Airport Group from a tenancy they had outgrown, to a new location atop the terminal carpark had obvious constraints; low ceiling heights, obstructed views, and isolation from green space and amenities. The opportunity was to create a showcase that represented multiple company brands, commitment to staff wellbeing, and facilitated contemporary work practices and agile team behaviour.

Inspiration came from the display of art in space; how movement, focus and object are combined to create a distinct journey where clarity of experience, function and destination drive the approach. The deep floor plate is arranged in layered zones. Progressing from reception to general workspace, circulation paths are curated to provide a formal or more intimate view into the space, with views through to the exterior from all pathways.

The sole opaque wall signals the transition from public to private. The faceted textural surface is calming and captivating; catching the light as it shifts, creating an ever-changing display. User choice is offered in type, form, style and function in office and shared spaces, providing diversity in experience.  Comfort, texture and warmth permeate the choice of furniture and fittings- leather handles, timber, velvet, stone; everything the user touches is tactile and authentic.  Materials and details evolve through the space to create an overall sense of quality that is shared from public spaces to the individual desks.

Contemporary practice recognises the importance of fostering positive work culture by integrating social opportunities, wellness and rest into the work environment. The creation of a new glazed, extension to house the central lounge and kitchen and a terrace with advanced plantings, seating and bbq (all added above the existing carpark roof) brought an intimate, domestic scale – creating an oasis of relaxation within the busy airport precinct. The informal lounge purposely intersects with the formal work spaces, encouraging connection. Residential and hospitality style furniture, upholstery and homewares reinforce the experience, seeking within the single environment to provide the breadth of amenity once enjoyed in the previous fitout.

The design facilitates contemporary and creative work practices. Choice is offered in type, form, comfort, style and function in multiple spaces, seeking to provide diversity in experience. The importance and value of the staff and their contribution is demonstrated in the scale, quality and priority location of general desking with generous space allocations, window views, natural light and high quality furniture more reminiscent of a personal study /library than a workplace

The transformation of a major constraint into a feature demonstrates designer innovation- using light and reflection to create experience. The central built zones are housed in a translucent, permeable rectilinear form. These ‘cubes’ glow and hover between the dark ceiling and floor surfaces – repelling the horizontal planes away to create volume and height. Reflections on the glass and floor form shifting pathways. Mirrored bulkheads create a sense of floating and a spaciousness that belies the low ceiling height. Transparency, vistas and connection through the cubes can be influenced by the users through operation of large mobile sliding screens.

  • Awards
  • Technical Information
  • Cox Team

Commendation, Interior Architecture, AIA ACT 2018

Capital Airport Group
Project Status
Complete, 2017
Key Consultants
Norman Disney Young
Switched On
Vital Design Solutions
Contractor / Builder
Construction Control
Gross Floor Area