When workers are inducted into the new Flight Centre Brisbane head office, they might be surprised to find their new multi-million-dollar digs include slippery slides linking the executive levels, the shell of a plane and a double-decker bus as meeting rooms.
But leisure and travel retailer Flight Centre’s unusual working arrangements are not standard, eschewing the standard managerial structure for competing teams of “families”, “tribes” and “villages”.
The challenge was making this corporate character fit into an office floorplan for Flight Centre’s new global headquarters, and PDT Architects’ Annie Yang was more than happy to oblige.
The end result of the $25 million 15-storey fitout will be a grab-bag of mock hotel lobbies, planes, trains and automobiles and movable office spaces.
“It’s a bit unique, typical offices are not like that,” Ms Yang said.
“This was quite exciting. We’ve got a slide on the executive floors, the top six floors, we have slides connecting those floors. It’s not every day we get that type of brief from a client.”
Flight Centre’s new headquarters will be located within the commercial tower of Anthony John Group’s $590m Southpoint complex at Brisbane’s Southbank.
The travel company wanted to bring its diverse brands together under the one roof, and will vacate their current tenancies in Brisbane’s CBD to move their 2000 staff to the 23,000sq m new offices. The staff may not know what will hit them. Offices based around Flight Centre’s ethos of “family” teams of three to eight employees will work around the perimeter of the layout, with meeting rooms and other communal facilities such as the “fire pit” clustered in the middle.
“Within each family they have their own war cries, and they have targets, it’s quite competitive,” Ms Yang said.
“Within the design of each work station we’ve allowed (staff) to personalise each area.” So across each of the levels there is a different focal point, tailored to the product each team is tasked with selling.
“Because it was 15 floors we decided to do things a bit differently,” Ms Yang said. “Every floor would be themed specifically to the items they actually sell.”
Hence, the bus, the plane and different mock hotel lobbies of varying star ratings as the meeting rooms for different levels who work with each product item.
Flight Centre has signed up to move into Southpoint from the middle of next year.
In doing so, they join Brisbane’s “flight to quality”, away from the central business district, deepening the city’s serious office vacancy problem.
They will move from GPT’s 545 Queen St and MRL Investments’ 316 Adelaide Street on the expiration of their leases.
Southpoint is one of the biggest mixed-use transit-orientated developments in Queensland, located in the busy hub of South Bank. Southpoint will also feature a hotel and restaurants as well as apartments.
Source: The Australian, Thursday 25th June 2015
Author: Rosanne Barrett