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When IDP Education brought Siren on board to design their new corporate office in Melbourne, they knew it would be a good match. The significant accolade they’ve already received shows they made the right choice.

Pops of IDP Education’s signature blue and orange stand out around their new office, along with green spaces that complement the building’s Greenstar rating. Rooms solely for staff wellbeing abound, including relaxation rooms and a gratitude area. Uniquely, the Melbourne office also has a parenting room with lactation devices, a step towards increasing gender equity in the workspace. Meanwhile, future-focused technology makes the space accessible to all teams in more than 30 countries.

Plants and biophilic design are abundant, responding to studies showing plants reduce worker fatigue. Water stations are placed around the office, encouraging hydration and movement during the day.

IDP Education doesn’t expect the world to return to its pre-pandemic state, and it’s these considerations that will future-proof IDP’s Melbourne office by fostering collaboration and promoting wellbeing, with best practice design in place to support employee health.

The innovative and creative interiors are what landed IDP Education and Siren Design the 2021 DrivenxDesign Melbourne Design Gold Award for Interior Design in the education category.

The project was the first that Siren commenced and completed during Covid-1 during Victoria’s strict lockdown. This, says Siren Design’s managing director and co-owner Nicole Pollak, adds “another layer of pride in the achievement of an award win within a new world and a new way of working, with a team that was able to so seamlessly adapt to virtual design collaboration”.

When IDP commissioned Siren to work on the project, they knew straight away it would be a good match for their diverse needs. “Siren’s premise ‘it’s what’s on the inside that matters’ was unique, and there was a very exciting individuality and complexity in their designs that explored softer and more welcoming features,” says Georgia Murphy, IDP Education’s head of people experience.

“We have a commitment to gender balance, inclusivity, and driving positive change, so together we have created a safe space that enables different working and learning styles to flourish, from smaller two-person corners, to larger open collaboration spaces,” says Murphy.

Siren’s commitment to gender equity is a core aspect of the design agency, with their all women management team being a drawcard for IDP Education, along with the design team’s attention to environmental sustainability measures.

“The design is also anchored in the IDP brand values and community in order to create a space IDP can feel both comfortable in, and proud of,” says Pollak. “Underpinning this, sustainability of every product and material in the construction and furnishing of the project was a key priority and the fitout was proudly designed to WELLS Platinum and Greenstar 5 star certification.”

IDP’s commitment to their connected international community “drove the design”, according to Murphy, “which is why the bridge is in the centre and at the heart of our story”.

This bridge Murphy refers to bridging moments of interaction and collaboration that were incorporated into the design and denoted by defined ceiling features, light and bursts of IDP’s brand colours, “represented a user’s journey to their ultimate destination, along with textures, materiality and design features representing the diverse, global company,” according to Pollak.

“IDP has created an inclusive and collaborative workspace of the future. It’s a place where our people want to spend time together and are proud to call their place of work,” says Murphy.

“Our new space brings our teams together, enabling them to flourish as individuals and as a global family. When our teams thrive, our customers thrive and become one step closer to achieving their global ambitions,” says Murphy.

IDP uniquely represents a range of people from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and personalities. These considerations, along with values of community, care, expertise and integrity “shaped every aspect of the design”, according to Murphy.

“I’m extremely proud of what our team at Siren Design have achieved, and honoured that IDP Education chose and trusted us to design their new Melbourne HQ. The project’s success is a testament to a trusting and collaborative client and to the entire project consultant and construction team,” says Pollak.

Photography by Shannon McGrath.

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