A new building for Australian health insurance company Medibank proves that design can help to improve people’s health. The building in Melbourne is designed to encourage movement and healthy behaviour along with flexibility, freedom of choice, creativity, interaction and engagement.

Designed by HASSELL, a design practice with studios in Australia, China, South East Asia and the UK, the building with lots of round curves and bright colours offers a working environment that stimulates physical activity. The nicely curved stairways offer the easiest way to travel between floors. Among the 22 types of work settings employees can choose from are places to work standing. Employees are also stimulated to come to work by bicycle: a ramp from the main entrance spirals upwards from street level for easy access to bike storage on their way in to work.

Circadian lighting to mimic natural daylight patterns supporting people’s biorhythms and 2.300 plants add to the softer and more humane character of the workspace. Interestingly the design process for this building was highly collaborative among disciplines.

Four months after moving in, 79% of employees reported they were working more collaboratively and 70% said they are working healthier in the new building, according to the HASSEL website. What’s more, 66% of employees said they were more productive at Medibank Place and the call centre saw a 5% reduction in absenteeism.

Top image: stairways in Medibank Place (photo by Earl Carter)