TFNSW Case Study

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Formula Interiors, a commercial builder with over 60 years’ experience, was engaged by Transport for NSW (TFNSW) in 2019 to complete a refurbishment of their offices located in Paramatta’s iconic Octagon building. Specialising in creating diverse and functional spaces across a number of industry sectors and having completed works for such high-profile clients as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Boeing, Oracle, and the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, Formula Interiors was uniquely qualified to undertake this mammoth project.

Our client: Formula Interiors

Established in 1957, Formula Interiors works across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to deliver commercial projects for some of the country’s most high-profile organisations. A trusted name in quality commercial building, the company has worked on iconic projects for BHP, Deacon University, the Bureau of Meteorology and Brisbane’s Mater Hospital, and many others.

Renowned for their client-first approach to commercial projects, Formula Interiors has a reputation for delivering spaces which incorporate beauty and functionality. Their public and private sector projects showcase their capacity for precision and quality, helping their clients to realise their visions for creative and structural excellence. Standing the test of time, Formula Interiors are committed to using the latest in environmentally sustainable building and design practices, innovative people-focused design, and superior materials.

Aspen TFNSW Parra

The project

Located in the heart of Sydney’s second-largest CBD, The Octagon represents Paramatta’s evolution as one of the city’s leading hubs for business, innovation and technology. The landmark building is marketed as an environmentally sustainable commercial office precinct with a strong focus on low-impact design, connectivity, and inspiring enterprise. As such, Formula Interiors were to approach the project with these design principles in mind.

“Connectivity, sustainability and collaboration were important features for the TFNSW design. Incorporating these into the design of the space, as well as ensuring as little disruption to the existing workforce on the site, was critical to the success of the project for the client.”

The fitout for TFNSW spanned over an impressive four levels and involved unique joinery concepts which required expertise beyond the scope of many commercial joiners. Aware of the expertise and stellar reputation of Aspen Interiors, Formula Interiors engaged us to work alongside designers Brewster Murray to deliver the project on time, with a short lead time, and with Aspen’s signature high-quality finishes.

Each of the project’s four levels comprises two octagonal satellites spanning some 1300 square metres, connected by internal bridges within The Octagon’s signature light-filled atriums. The concept for the design was developed around roads and connectivity – creating a flowing activity based workspace (ABW) which connects teams, clients and stakeholders seamlessly, to encourage collaboration.

A number of collaboration-centred joinery items were created by Aspen for the project, including flexible meeting rooms and booth seating, mobile whiteboards, and multiple kitchen and break spaces.

Completed in two stages, the project involved fitting out four flexible meeting rooms with highly detailed finishes and fittings. Using expanded mesh, timber beams, and operable whiteboard walls, Aspen created a striking and functional meeting space which brings staff together. The rooms offer staff a number of discreet working and meeting spaces which are functional and yet not siloed. The expanded mesh walls used in the fitout give a distinctive industrial feel, whilst allowing light and air to flow between the spaces.

It was important to TFNSW to recognise the traditional owners of the land, and so, in keeping with the transport theme of the design, each meeting room was assigned an Australian highway moniker as well as a reference to a local Indigenous tribe.

The industrial feel of the black mesh is offset by the vibrant colour scheme of the walls and offer workers a fresh, lively atmosphere for collaboration which caters to a range of working styles and activities.

The challenges

A commercial project of this size is not without its challenges. Formula Interiors required Aspen’s considerable expertise to deliver each of the joinery components with a short lead time while collaborating with other trades on site. Procuring the necessary rubber material from a global vendor with an 8 to12-week lead time was just one of the significant challenges. Maintaining the flow of works during this time so as not to delay other trades was key to the success of the project.

As the building housed an existing workforce, the project involved working on two levels at a time in order to allow the TFNSW staff to continue to operate with as little disruption as possible whilst works were underway. Delivering the project on time was crucial to ensuring a seamless transition into the newly refurbished space with as little interruption as possible to the organisation’s operations.

Aspen’s expertise

Given Aspen’s considerable experience with complex commercial projects and excellent track record for delivering on time and withsuperior results, we were an ideal fit for the TFNSW project. Juggling the long lead time for materials with the requirements of other trades on the project involved utilising our advanced 3D laser scanning equipment to map the area. This allowed us to fit out the space in the absence of the rubber materials so that other trades could continue their work in the space.

Aspen is well-known for our collaborative approach, and this serves us well in all of the projects we undertake. The TFNSW project involved working with Formula Interiors and designers Brewster Murray to not only deliver on the ambitious design vision for the project but bring the project to fruition on time without compromising on quality.

The result was a unique and practical working environment which facilitates collaboration for TFNSW staff, visitors and stakeholders, beyond anything The Octagon has seen before. The revolutionary design and construction of the space offers flexible working environments which are sure to serve TFNSW’s work well into the future.

To find our more, view the project pics and overview below.

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