NBC Universal

Siren is an award-winning interior design firm who work across Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne & Singapore. Since 2004 they have successfully delivered more than 2000 projects in the sectors of workplace, retail and hospitality, multi-residential developments, alongside new builds, refurbishment and upgrade projects. Siren believes that interiors have a big role to play in happiness, well-being and productivity and that good interior can make or break a business.

The Siren Design team is host to experts in the field, delivering cutting edge, intuitively, experiential and culturally aware spaces.
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Located in the centre of one of Sydney’s most dynamic, vibrant and creative precincts, 580 George Street includes 33 floors of commercial office space with three levels of retail, all linked by a pedestrian underpass to Town Hall railway station. For NBCUniversal's relocation to 580 George, they chose Siren to design the interior. Siren worked as the sole design consultants on the project, supported by the project manager from CBRE as well as other consultants including Aston Consulting for the building services.

The brief was to create a highly functional and agile space, this was to be based around reducing physical workplace barriers and focus on optimizing the workplace experience, in also ensuring there was room to evolve and grow. NBCU wanted an open plan design that utilised natural light, matched their current global corporate identity and encouraged connection and collaboration while leveraging cutting edge technology within workspaces and a state-of-the-art Theatrette.

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"Interior design isn’t about labels. It’s about crafting an environment that reflects who you are and what you do, and an environment that immediately tells others about you and most importantly, an environment that invites people in."

The main goal for the project was to successfully integrate all business lines and teams, creating a “one family” culture for employees that was supportive of the company diversity and encouraged new ways of working in symphony. The high calibre design was to support and create a new level of workplace standards that were already held in such great regard by NBCU globally.

The 2-floor new workspace was designed to home approximately 118 open office desks and 4 offices across the 1295sqm on Floor 32. This floor was to also include a Kitchen, canteen, phone booths, utilities, storage areas, as well as a one-point entry reception that minimised disturbance to employees. Floor 33 was designed to consist of a state-of-the-art movie suite, recording studio, showroom sleeping pods, a library and multifunctional hosting space.

The design was inspired in large by the surrounding Sydney landscape as well as the global tone, values and heart of the NBCU brand. The company represents a sense of grandeur, a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and it was important for the space to be reflective of this both visually and in terms of space usability.

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Siren handed over a high-end environment that was engaging and vibrant, taking NBCU in Asia Pacific to the next level and creating a new benchmark for the company globally.

Naturally, there were a few challenges surrounding the cultural changes of integrating the numerous business lines into the cross-functional floor plates. The design needed to bring together all aspects of the wider brands within the company while still allowing the internal teams to collaborate and functional efficiency. A further challenge that came as a result of this cultural shift was surrounding bringing the vast majority of the company out of offices and into the flexible and open work zones.

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On the upper floor, challenges were met with the theatrette when designing the surrounding space to be usable, adaptable and flexible for fixed styles of working and events. Further to this, perfecting the acoustics in the theatre to ensure that any sound during a viewing was not heard outside of the theatre.

Siren handed over a high-end environment that was engaging and vibrant, taking NBCU in the Asia Pacific to the next level and creating a new benchmark for the company globally.

The finished design was, without a doubt, to brief and to brand. Colours and fixtures that represent NBCU as a global entity were used throughout the two floors creating a sense of unity across the brands, emphasizing the “family” culture that they desired. There was a definite “avant-garde” feel to the finished project, especially on the top level that housed an industry-leading theatrette and highly technological recording studios.

This project is yet to be submitted for any awards but is gaining a lot of external interest following its feature in the recent episode of The Place Makers, a channel 10 series produced by CBRE.

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