Finance Work Job envy: Australia’s best new offices

Job envy: Australia’s best new offices

WoodsBagot South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
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Every year we see them pop up in galleries on websites – the offices every worker wishes they had.

It’s often led by Google, the champion of the bright, unconventional, and the sleeping pod. But the best new offices in Australia come from slightly more surprising quarters.

While the Australian Tax Office is likely to be associated in many minds with dusty folders and scrambling to find tax documents in old filing cabinets, their own office is light-filled and full of greenery.

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Likewise, the new South Australian Medical Health and Research Institute might sound like yet another dreary space for academia, the building, known locally as the “grater”, is everything but dull.

The Australian Institute of Architects have shortlisted the best of the offices for the year for either commercial, interior or sustainability in its annual awards to be held next week.

Here are the best of the new offices in Australia.

Australian Taxation Office

Where: Elizabeth Street, Brisbane
Interior architect: HASSELL

Why you want to work there: The ATO needs strict security and privacy. In a space this pretty we are sure that dealing with tax would be calming, rather than, um, boring.

The kitchen of the ATO. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones

55 Elizabeth Street

Where: Brisbane – home to the Australian Taxation Office
Building architect: BVN Donovan Hill

Why you want to work there: Inside is the ATO, which we’ve just seen, but face it, going to work in this building you’d have to feel a little bit cool.

An inviting building. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Where: North Terrace, South Australia
Architects: Woods Bagot

Why you want to work there: There’s no doubt that SAMHRI’s brought a touch of style to Adelaide’s North Terrace and a bit of pride to the locals. It’s the coolest building in town, inside and out.

WoodsBagot South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
The SAHMRI foyer. Photo: Peter Clarke
Pinecone? Cheese grater? Nope. It’s a research institute. Photo: Peter Clarke

University of Queensland Advanced Engineering

Where: Queensland
Architects: Richard Kirk Architect and HASSELL

Why you want to work there: You wouldn’t expect a centre for advanced engineering to look anything but advanced. And it is. It’s already won sustainability awards and this night picture is just postcard perfect.

A university building so pretty it could almost be a postcard. Photo: HASSELL
cool office
Attention to detail. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Toyota WA Head Office

Where: Perth
Architects: Roxby Architects

Why you want to work there: It might not surprise you that the company that sells the Prius has aimed high for sustainability. The building itself is designed to reduce energy consumption, but there’s also solar panels on the roof and three 1kW wind turbines.

A building as environmentally forward thinking as a Prius. Photo: Silvertone Photography

University of Tasmania Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

Where: Tasmania
Architects: John Wardle Architects + Terroir

Why you want to work here: Look at this bike rack. Enough said.

Leigh Woolley
We’d ride to work just to keep our bike here. Photo: Leigh Woolley

ASB North Wharf

Where: New Zealand (Ok, it’s little out of Australia, but just a short flight away.)

Architects: BVN Donovan Hill

Why you want to work here: In its PR material, the ASB ( a bank) calls this building in Auckland’s oldest industrial precinct: “Our sustainable place.” It has a rain harvesting system, lots of natural light, fresh air. Plus the bank helped the Auckland Theatre Company build a new home next door. You can read all about it in this very fancy e-book.

ASB North Wharf: up top is the rain harvesting system.


A mix of modern office and industrial flair. Photo: John Gollings

Old – but they’ve still got it

Here’s a few offices that aren’t brand spanking new, but we’d like to sneak in to “work” there anyway. Table tennis anyone?

Google HQ

Where: Sydney
Architects: Future Space

Why you want to work there: First of all, it’s Google and there’s definitely lots of other cool stuff. Second of all, HAMMOCKS.

Chilling out at Google's Aussie HQ. Source: Supplied.
Chilling out at Google’s Aussie HQ. Photo: Supplied

Seek Melbourne

Where: Melbourne
Architect: Moda Design Group

Why you want to work there: Excuse me, I’m just going down the slide to my cute and colourful in-office cafe to choose from the unlimited supply of ice-cream. Oh wait..

The Seek offices in Melbourne get full points for cool.
The Seek offices in Melbourne get full points for cool.


Where: Halifax Street, South Australia
Architects: Oxigen

Why you want to work there: Is that even a work place? We want to go read their books, sit under that blue installation and be inspired. With an award-winning office this cool to work in, a day at work at Oxigen would fly by. You can see more pics and read how they created their studio here.

David Sievers
Luxury home? Nope, just an office. Photo: David Sievers

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