Melbourne Airport HQ

Prepared for Take-off

Melbourne, Victoria
Tatjana Plitt & Peter Clarke

Shortlisted, AIDA Awards 2019, Workplace Over 1000 sqm

A fresh approach to future-focused workspaces.

Foolscap Studio + Relative determined a vision for Melbourne Airport HQ in sync with our philosophies on progressive workplace models. Encouraging staff retention through wellbeing, we have realised a space with enhanced amenity for a healthy, inspiring future.

To accommodate 190 staff of the Asia-Pacific Airport Corporation in a newly productive zone of Terminal 4, our concept was realised through the concept of movement, executed in dynamic design gestures that respond to past, place and identity.

Liquid lines run through the space, counteracting the previously dull flatness of one large floorplate. Breaking down space, while maintaining intuitive links between new zones, gives rise to layered opportunities for different kinds of work and social connections.

With breakout spaces, extensive greenery, formal and relaxed meeting rooms and zones, facilities that encourage vitality and collaboration, and amenities that allow easy transition from personal to professional capacities, the workspace paradigm shifts into a new, more balanced realm.


We went to great lengths to create green vistas and flowing spaces less reliant on borrowed light. Staff now enjoy a self-contained oasis, thanks to penetrations through the roof to access natural light. Where structural intervention was impractical, we designed Barrisol canopies – membranes stretched over backlit screens that diffuse a softer artificial light than standard options.

The simple palette comprises Australian materials, including Victorian bluestone and native spotted gum flooring. A stainless-steel kitchen nods to the language of airplane design, while tonal shifts in gold, green and brown echo the natural landscape and, very subtly, the building’s 1970s heyday.

Bespoke pieces of refined handcrafted furniture, including the 5-metre-long boardroom table, were created with Indigenous joiners in Arnhem Land. The airport is literally and symbolically an introduction to Australia, so building narrative-containing elements with the true owners of the land was a unique outcome for our client.

Press –

Sydney Morning Herald

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