ANZ Centre – Corporate HQ Docklands, Melbourne

ANZ Centre – Corporate HQ Docklands, Melbourne

Australia’s largest single tenant office building has opened – ANZ’s Docklands HQ

photograph taken by Peter Bennetts

Architect Hassell,  Architect Lend Lease Design,  Built by Bovis Lend Lease


It brings new meaning to word:  “groundscraper” – all 87,000sqm of it.

The ANZ Bank began moving staff into its Docklands site in October, and will move its headquarters in early 2010. It will benefit by reducing the number of commercial properties it holds in Melbourne from 13 to eight.

The idea was hatched ( in 2006 )when the global banking industry was booming. And at a cost of $750 million ( original budget $377 million ) , little expense was spared on ANZ’s new headquarters that now dominates the Docklands skyline.

“In ANZ Centre, we have achieved two aims – the building is cost effective and it creates a great work environment for our people which supports engagement and productivity,’’ said ANZ Group General Manager Property Ms Jane Hamilton.  ‘’We didn’t want a building that offended no one, but that nobody loved. ANZ Centre has quiet spaces, communal spaces and most importantly work spaces to suit a variety of tastes and work styles.”

More than 6500 staff – will work out of the building, giving much-needed bustle to the pointy end of Docklands. Banks and insurers are finding their feet in Docklands, with ANZ now sharing the neighbourhood with National Australia Bank, AXA Asia Pacific and Medibank.

ANZ Chief Executive Officer John McFarlane said the new development made strong sense both financially and from a corporate social responsibility perspective, enabling ANZ to bring together some of its suburban offices while providing an inspiring, environmentally efficient workplace in a thriving business precinct.

One of the largest office developments in Victoria’s history and the largest single-tenanted commercial building in the Southern Hemisphere, the new ANZ flagship building is recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly in the world and accredited with a Six Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

The building will produce 70 per cent less greenhouse emissions than other commercial buildings. It will tap gas-fired energy and on-site solar and wind power to generate much of its own electricity. Water use will also be down significantly, helped by the storage of rainwater. Unusually, the building will be kept cool with the help of Yarra River water flowing past.

The ANZ building houses 6,500 people – as many as a small town – and its vast ground floor has the feel of a town square. Australia’s largest commercial building in area, it incorporates the equivalent of 80 storeys of office space in just 10 storeys. No staff member sits more than 11 metres from natural light.

Bovis Lend Lease won the bid for the project in December 2005, taking responsibility for design, development and construction. The architects were Lend Lease Design, the company’s architectural arm, headed by Darren Kindrachuk, and Hassell, whose chairman Ken Maher is also professor of architecture at the University of NSW.

Chris Carolan, Lend Lease’s project director for the ANZ centre, said the challenge was to create a design that was ”not too bulky, had human scale, added to the public domain and was inviting … You need to walk the whole building to appreciate the whole thing,” he told BusinessDay.

Ken Maher said ANZ’s accommodation requirements also had to be adapted to the low-rise controls of VicUrban’s master plan for Docklands, and ”provide a contemporary workplace with high levels of daylight”.

The building has distinct individual floors, skylights and two atriums, with the floors exposed to daylight from each side. It has views of the river, the city, the Bolte Bridge and Docklands. Open-plan work stations intermingle with recreation and kitchen areas.

”We came up with the idea of having large floors at lower levels, stepping back to smaller floors at upper levels, which allowed the building to ’step back’ from the river to meet the control guidelines,” Maher said.

”That also meant you could get a changing floor-to-floor character as you move up the building. Wrapping those linear floors around the two atria that flood daylight into central spaces gives a sense of common space.”

These days armed with a new logo, ANZ is looking more to the streets of China and Hong Kong for its growth. But the scale of the headquarters sends a signal that it plans to be anchored in Melbourne – for now at least.

In its 171-year history in Melbourne, ANZ has rarely ventured far from Collins Street. It remains on Collins, but is now also a little further down the tram line.  By late 2009, the area will be among the most vibrant in Melbourne with a working population of at least 15,000 people.

The Docklands is one of the largest urban renewal projects in the world






  1. John Engelen - October 24, 2015

    We aren’t sure which plants you are referring to Jonathan – but here are 2 links which may ( ? ) lead you in the right direction to find out

  2. Jonathan griffiths - October 20, 2015

    Amazing tall red plants on your rooftop at docklands. What are they? Regards, Jonathan

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