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Prime Minister & Cabinet

A hard working protospace
Co-designing for change

For this groundbreaking project, Darragh O’Brien, founding director of EBD, worked with peckvonhartel architects to design two new Workplace pilot projects for the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.  Located at 1 National Circuit, Barton and Centraplaza, 16 Bowes Place, Woden ACT, the department intend to use these pilots to inform all future fitouts.


The aim of this project was to create a real-world protospace;  a physical environment that could adapt, support and shape an evolving, organic workplace.  A range of experimental ideas were tested in the protospace to inform a final brief for wider implementation.


The protospace was developed through an intensive series of co-design workshops, where concerns were addressed, ownership encouraged and ideas tested.  The workplace strategy became a scaffold for a series of attractors:  a shared Project Lab, Recreation Area and Quiet Zone, each designed as permeable territories within a fluid, open space; promoting higher levels of activity and spontaneous collaboration.


The post-occupancy response has been overwhelmingly positive, with workplace satisfaction lifting from 33% to 88%.   As one leader remarked:


“I previously spent around 10% of my time out of my office, with the team in an activated environment.

I now prefer stepping out of an activated environment 10% of the time, rather than stepping into one.”