Designing a Total Health Environment

In celebration of Melbourne Design Week, Phillipa Sharp sat down with Leonee Ariel Derr to discuss the design and development of the new Wellness Centre and Management Office at 485 La Trobe.

(Phillipa Sharp) With over 18 years in the interior design industry, both in the UK and Australia, I have become a specialist in designing healthy workspace environments. Joining BLP as a Workplace Sector leader in 2019, I have contributed to the growth of BLP’s offering in workspace design across various sectors including health care, education, justice, and science and technology. Designing spaces that promote social, mental, and psychological well-being is at the core of my design practice.

The Wellness Centre & Management office at 485 Latrobe is designed as a total wellness hub. The space is designed as an immersive, inclusive environment a ‘third place’ for the 485 community. A third place being a safe space for people to gather and immerse themselves in a community that is beyond the office or home. The Wellness Centre will be an extension on the existing third spaces already available at 485 including The Lobby, and other bespoke facilities including cafes and communal areas.

The Wellness Centre will be a total health environment that encourages and supports collective wellbeing. Directed by the principles of designing with nature the hub will utilise natural light, and a neutral palette to create an inviting space that allows users to reset and recharge.

Taking advantage of the double height void, draped fabric is used to line the ceiling, creating a visual feature that contributes to the overall calming ambience of the space, to be enjoyed while practicing yoga. Sheer curtains soften the aesthetic and allow for an abundance of light to enter the space, whilst providing a level of privacy for the user. Resistant flooring ensures both durability and flexibility for various activities and events, timber features and the incorporation of plants further contribute to the successful design of this holistic wellness hub.

The redesign promotes collective wellbeing through multipurpose and flexible layout decisions. The Wellness Centre will facilitate prayer, nurturing, reflection, and meditation, exercise classes, and events through designated spaces and integrated technologies. This space encourages spiritual, physical, and mental freedom allowing for calm amongst busy workdays.

The Wellness Centre incorporates the Management Office on the Mezzanine Level, an open-plan layout, with a kitchenette and meeting spaces for the Building Management Team. The Management Office will have direct sight lines toward the Wellness Centre, drawing the design elements up into their workspace.

Construction has begun, and we hope to see the space open to the 485 La Trobe community by mid-2021. 

Written by Leonee Ariel Derr for Lendlease’s WorkLife

Designing a Total Health EnvironmentAdelaide Bell