Secure Office Fitout
SPH were engaged to design a new workplace for the Corruption and Crime Commission; the most powerful investigative agency in Western Australia which has a remit to investigate political and government organisations, and individuals.
This project provided the CCC with an opportunity to re-brand and reshape the public’s perception of its role and work. We therefore set out to create a space that promoted transparency and flexibility, with a contemporary light-filled atmosphere, whilst maintaining a high level of security and confidentiality in specific spaces.
In transitioning the CCC from mostly cellular offices across six floors to an Activity Based Working model on a single floor, we faced several key challenges including:
- The varying requirements of nine distinct departments and stakeholder groups;
- High security requirements (including ASIO level 4 clearance in parts);
- Complex audio visual and information and communications technology solutions;
- Courtroom and interview room requirements, and
- A new public interface.
As part of this project, CCC also aimed to modernise its internal workflows, including adopting paper-lite working, implementing new document and evidence storage systems and room booking panels, and overlaying new security processes.
An additional layer of complexity arose from the fact that the CCC had a very compressed briefing-to-tender period of just five months, and required integration within an existing building and services.
To overcome these challenges, SPH were engaged to provide an initial Project Definition Plan (PDP). This allowed us to investigate and determine the project’s parameters and key priorities by validating all of the functional components of the brief. Once our PDP was endorsed, SPH were re-engaged to provide a full architectural service including Superintendents Representative role during construction.
To accelerate the design and delivery process, we tested and challenged workflows, storage needs, technology solutions and security requirements – amongst other issues – via a highly structured briefing, iteration and review process.
In the PDP stage, we worked with the CCC and their change management consultant to interview each department’s key representatives, so we could deliver the right balance across the design.
This level of consultation and fact-finding made it easy for the user groups to endorse the design proposal, enabling us to expedite the documentation stage and conform to the tight program. We used a range of methods – such as 3D visualisation, graphical plans and sample boards – to share the proposed design with key stakeholders.
Our intricate knowledge of the complex and varying requirements enabled us to carefully arrange different uses – such as a highly secure forensic computer lab beside conference rooms and a staff cafe for 150 people – without negatively impacting any of those functions.
And by carefully planning and mapping these differently-rated secure zones – and thanks to the judicious use of technology, including concealing security features within the well-designed fitout – we were able to create a comfortable space that doesn’t feel imposing or overbearing.
The success of this project is evidenced by the fact that SPH achieved the CCC’s workplace objectives while delivering cost savings of 15% under the original budget – within the clients’ critical timeframes – as well as the delivering a transformative effect on the entire organisation, as described by the Chief Executive Ray Warnes.
The Corruption and Crime Commission has been in its new premises since 5 March 2018.
It was evident from the first day we moved into our new lease, with the contemporary fitout designed and managed by SPH Architects, that the operating changes we wanted to achieve within the organisation had been realized.
The fit-out provides a diverse range of collaboration and multi-use spaces for the public and various professional groups. With a design that provides a greater transparency, the smart integration of technology and workspaces that meets the needs of all in the organisation, we have seen better teamwork and interaction across the organisation.
In the first 42 working days of being in the building, the Commission has held 26 days of public and private examinations. This has only been enabled by the use of multiple examination rooms and the functionality designed into the rooms that utilize contemporary technologies.
The creativity applied by SPH in meeting our design brief is greatly appreciated.