Defence Plaza Melbourne, Department of Defence

Defence Plaza Melbourne

Harmer Architecture was appointed by the Department of Defence to undertake a major refurbishment of Defence Plaza Melbourne. The project covers five floors each with an approximate area of 1800m², a total of approximately 9000m².

The Ground Floor was completely reconfigured and four floors at upper levels above were redesigned as a new workplace environment using a range of workstation types to reflect the varied working patterns of defence personnel.

Public Spaces


The main project aspirations were to create a new social focus on the Ground Floor to encourage more cross departmental relationships and provide flexibility and amenity to encourage people to dwell in the new spaces. Key elements of Ground Floor include:


Seminars and Training


The larger part of the Ground Floor, in addition to public areas, provides a range of spaces for meetings, seminars and training.

The ground floor space therefore is the main point for social interaction in the whole of the DPM building.

Three circular meeting rooms “float” in the main public space near the Lift Lobby and Connect zone to make them easily accessible and easy to find.

The large circular meeting rooms denote points of the compass on each window, recognising the importance of navigation in the world of defence.

Four other seminar rooms and an IT Training Room are accessed off the rear arcade whilst a large seminar space divisible into two spaces is accessed directly off the Main Entry Arcade.



Workspace Floors


The four workplace floors provide for three types of working patterns. “Resident” staff occupy workstations most of their time, whilst “Internally Mobile” staff spend a large part of their time away from their desks at meetings and training sessions within the building. Other staff only work at DPM 20% of the time and only need hot desks.

The design also creates a number of spaces for informal meetings within high back couches or “booths” as well as collaborative work tables.

A number of small “touch down” points for tea and coffee also creates a more diverse workplace environment, whilst a larger main kitchen or staff area on each level is equipped with a variety of seating and table layouts as well as enough space for group staff functions and team building events.