Last Updated: 24 Mar 2016
Localista Team

Meet the international architecture company that’s shaping WA’s topography and moulding the country’s next generation of architects.

HASSELL is one of the largest design companies in the world, and is responsible for some of Perth's most innovative precincts and public spaces. In the past 10 years alone, the international practice has designed three new-build hospitals in Western Australia – Fiona Stanley, Busselton Health Campus, and the St John of God Midland Public and Private Hospitals.

It has popular city redevelopments Gordon Stephenson House (one40william) and Brookfield Place in its repertoire, while more recently it designed the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival Chevron Festival Gardens. It has also been commissioned to create the Perth Stadium and Station (due for completion for the start of the 2018 AFL season, or early 2018), which is already visible on the city's eastern skyline.

Breathing new life into one of Perth's oldest heritage buildings (the former Commonwealth Bank building), the team has also produced a new creative hub for itself. The studio acts as a central platform for the design firm, one that is in close proximity to their Perth projects.

"We create and transform places so they can be used to their fullest potential," says HASSELL principal Brenden Kelly. "Projects like Brookfield Place, one40william, and our Murray Street studio are designed to benefit the people who inhabit them. They promote economical, social and cultural value, and promote the city as an active and innovative hub."

Perth's Chevron Festival Gardens, another feather in the design firm's cap (photography Alana Blowfield).

The design team in the Perth studio works in collaboration with the company's numerous other teams (based in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, and internationally in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and London), through a global 24/7 live network that allows teams to work on projects that bypass time zones and location barriers.

"We can work on a large project from 9am to 5pm, then another group – say, from our London studio – will be able to continue working on the same project while we are sleeping," says Brenden. "The fully networked studio lets everyone work in
a 'cloud' environment, allowing us to bring the most suitable talent and expertise from across the world directly to our clients."

Brenden says the company's architects, landscape architects, interior designers, urban designers, planners and specialist consultants work together in integrated design teams to produce the best outcomes for their clients.

"The increasingly complex projects that clients bring to us demand a culture built on collaboration, creativity, and innovation in design-thinking and delivery," he explains. "This 24/7 approach allows the team to work on projects in a collaborative manner, and gives them the opportunity to work on truly international projects on a regular basis."

These include rail projects such as the Thomson East Coast Line in Singapore, which, as well as train stations, features a four-in-one integrated train and bus depot – a world first.

"The design, which we produced in partnership with Parsons Brinckerhoff, minimises the need for large expanses of land in one of the most densely populated cities on earth," Brenden says. "The equivalent of almost 60 football fields of land space will end up being saved."

Along with projects such as the Thomson East Coast Line, a recent amalgamation with Singapore-based design studio Distillery has further strengthened the company's commitment to South East Asia.

"Distillery is made up of international designers with expertise in high-end, luxury hospitality, retail, food and beverages, and residential design," says Brenden. "This merger not only reinforces our investment in this diverse, rapidly expanding region, it also means good things for our hospitality portfolio and knowledge base. The Singapore and Perth design teams are already collaborating on a number of exciting hospitality projects."

The design firm's investment in its global network doesn't end there – it makes sure it looks after its future leaders and innovators. Back in Australia, HASSELL provides a number of Australian university students with a travelling scholarship each year, and is also involved with programs such as the New Colombo Plan, which provides opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to undertake semester-based internships in participating Indo-Pacific locations (more specifically, at the HASSELL studios in Singapore and Hong Kong).

This invested interest in the growth and development of its future employees, not to mention its heavy involvement with the redevelopment of Perth's urban fabric, means that HASSELL plays – and will always play – a huge part in shaping our state and the world's future.

Fiona Stanley Hospital (photography Peter Bennetts).

The St John of God Public and Private Hospitals in Midland (photography Peter Bennetts).

St John of God Private and Public Hospitals, Western Australia

This $430 million replacement hospital for the Perth east metropolitan region features a range of health services including emergency, ICU/CCU, surgical and outpatient services. The design includes generous courtyards, private and semi-private rehabilitation areas, 307 beds (this is expected to increase to 450-500 beds), and an integrated 60-bed private hospital.

Perth Stadium Station, Western Australia

HASSELL is in the process of constructing the new Perth Stadium Station, which will be completed by 2018. The station features 11km of tracks and six platforms, and will be able to transport 28,000 people during event days. In addition to the station, nearby stowage for up to 117 railcars will be made, along with upgrades to the East Perth Station and parts of the rail network.

Manhattan Bar at Regents Park, Singapore

In collaboration with beverage consultants Proof & Co, HASSELL designed this classic American cocktail bar, found on the second floor of Singapore's Regent Hotel. Celebrating the classic 'golden age' of cocktail making, the bar itself is shaped as a stage upon which the bartender creates masterful concoctions next to a dramatic bottle display. Within a year of opening, the Manhattan Bar in Singapore has been listed as one of the world's top 50 bars by World's 50 Best Bars editor Hamish Smith.

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