Spanning five levels in a building formerly devoted to tea, Havas Group's "Vertical Village" in Sydney allows 350 employees from 10 business units to steep together in the spirit of cooperation.
Havas Group moved all its Sydney employees into the former Bushells Tea building in The Rocks area of Sydney in February, completing a long process of gradual unification. Havas originally established the Sydney Village in 2015, bringing together three business units; Havas, Havas Media and Red Havas. Over subsequent years the business grew organically and through acquisition to become a collection of 10 businesses, with expertise across all areas of comms. These businesses consolidated to two offices in 2017.
But the company then sought a single-structure solution, and found it in the Bushells Tea building, which is listed as a significant heritage property by the state. Renovation took 12 months from initial research and design to moving day. The process included significant building upgrades and fit out, along with rigorous approvals and consultation to maintain the integrity of the building's heritage, according to the company.
Havas says the design narrative for the vertical village concept is anchored in the word ‘blend’, which refers to both the cultural blending of the people and businesses under one roof and to the building’s history of tea blending.
“After a lengthy building selection process with Hammond Studio (and Cadigal Property Group), we settled on a character-filled heritage building that allowed us to deliver on our international property strategy," says Jodie Couzens, chief of staff of Havas Group Australia & New Zealand. "Hammond Studios were engaged through the briefing process and worked with our team to understand our needs, resulting in a faultless design that allowed us to define a new way of working."