The Medibank building in Melbourne’s docklands is the poster boy of wellbeing workplaces, winning a host of national and international awards.

Casual visitors would notice the biophilic interiors, brimming with thousands of plants, while 10% of the exterior is also covered by native Australian foliage. There are two 25-metre high green walls and a food garden. The living greenery enhances air quality and helps to alleviate stress.

Materials used to fit out the interiors such as flooring and carpets are low in air-polluting volatile organic compounds. The building entrance includes a spiral ramp to encourage bike use, and the multi-purpose sports court at ground level — tennis, football, basketball — embeds and signals physical wellbeing in the space.

In parts of the workplace, circadian lighting mimics natural daylight patterns and the building adapts to people’s different ways of working with 26 types of workspaces, from quiet spaces to spaces for collaboration. The diversity of these spaces encourages people to move around. In a survey of staff after they moved in, 79% said they worked more collaboratively, 70% felt healthier and 66% felt more productive.

Location: Australia

Credit: Hassell Studio, 2014. Collaboration with Chris Connell Design, FOD, Kerry Phelan Design Office, Russell & George, Veldhoen + Company

Images: Earl Carter