Norton Rose Fulbright Australia | Interconnecting Stairs

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The interconnecting stairs serve as a conduit for team collaboration!


Inspired by the history of its central Sydney location at 60 Martin Place in the centre of the CBD, the new workplace for prestigious law firm Norton Rose Fulbright offers a sensory journey of discovery, expertly connecting eight levels across 10,000-square-metres.

Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the world’s largest law firms engaged leading architects Carr and fitout builders MPA to construct their eight-level workplace, situated in the newly constructed 60 Martin Place building.

The project consists of two client facing floors which include meeting rooms, board room, seminar rooms, café, outdoor terrace and two commercial kitchens. With the remaining floors housing workstations, collaboration spaces and breakout areas.

Interconnecting stairs are used throughout all the levels, with five sets of stairs connecting the top six levels. Delivered by Australian commercial stair specialist Active Metal, these stairs serve as the conduit for team collaboration, echoing the intent of spatial designer Nicole Coutts who explained, “Through the design we actively looked at ways to bring the team together to enable them to share knowledge.”

The stair run and void sizes shift and change through the vertical stack, with large team meeting spaces and on-floor tea points positioned adjacent for greater visual connection between the smaller floor plates. The outcome resolves the challenge of giving up usable floor space while still integrating a busy stair. Utilising several stair design shapes such as straight flight, switchback and right angle were key to making these staggered penetrations work with the overall floor layout and the interconnecting stairs.

“The main challenge for the stair was fire compartmentation. This was a driver for offsetting the voids as we could not have all voids aligned, and at certain designated levels the voids were then completely misaligned to allow for fire curtains to fall and seal the building in the invent of an emergency,” says Senior Associate Maurizio Toniolo.

The colour palette is directly inspired from the varied brickwork of Sydney featuring rich earth tones, while the repetition of curving shapes are a reference to the traditional forms of historic Sydney.

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