John Holland: NextHome

(John Holland: NextHome)

Traditional Custodians of the land
Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation

Melbourne, Australia

Completion Date
18th August 2020

John Holland

Interior Architecture + Design
Decibel Architecture

Spatial Planning + Strategy
Decibel Architecture


Base Building Architecture

Change Strategy

Calder Consulting

Structure, Services + Acoustics


Fire Engineering
Wood and Grieve

Building Surveyor
du Chateau Chun


As part of a major global re-branding and repurposing, John Holland Group are consolidating separate remote sites to their flagship Flinders Gate project called Nexthome.

Delivering a fresh, coherent and purpose oriented workplace that fulfils and enables the delivery of John Holland’s new strategic vision, we are reconceiving the underlying reading of the base building grid, and creating a complex tapestry of ‘journey’ based connections.


Collage showing the juxtaposition of a sun-lit forest with engineers drafting airplane motors at 1:1 scale. Representing our purpose in delivering a workplace designed to help staff deliver their best work in a harmonius environment.


Avoiding open-plan (and closed-cell), the environment is woven with a porosity and resilience that enables journeys of cross-pollination and linkages through disciplines to flourish.

Creating avenues and axes that connect occupants to external markers of this great city, the workplace enhances internal spatial character and promotes fresh perspectives and connections, enabling external views to become wayfinding information.

A weaving grid was created to intervene within the original lateral grid. Using similar techniques to basket weaving we tested both physical and drawn models to achieve a porosity to the layout.

(Workplace Planning)

There are many different ways of working and John Hollands new home caters for multiple engagement typologies, social points and collaborative spaces. The seamless transition from individual desks to co-working spaces and informal breakout spaces allows flexibility through work processes as well as casual interactions.


The individual’s journey through the office space encourages serendipitous interactions and experiences by weaving multiple pathways and environments. Informal spaces have been designed to facilitate these moments and contribute to a greater level of connectivity between users.


Connecting occupants to both interior and exterior environments through the framing and positioning of important views to greater Melbourne allows people to orientate and locate themselves. This improves sight lines through the building and supports the journeys taken within.


Creating new journeys and connections is a core strategy in delivering an office that actively engages the people who work within it.

(Connecting Atrium)

The atrium is the main vertical circulatory artery of the building as it vertically connects all levels of the building. Natural light and an array of vegetation permeates all office spaces and ensures every workspace in Nexthome has access. It connects all vertical spaces through the building and provides space for physical activity, reflection and connection.

The staircase was carefully considered to create cross pollination between business units. Unlike a circular staircase only connecting vertically, the central staircase promotes teams to interact with each other and was deliberately placed within the natural circulation of the Nexthome design.

Designed to ensure that views inside the space incorporate biophilic and natural elements connecting the floors and workspaces to create an infinity loop journey. Horizontal green armatures ensure a sense of visual openness, natural light and connection to the outside.

(Reimagined Radial Organisational Chart)

To connect people within an office environment we first had to explore how they are connected within the organisation.

A new radial proposed organisational chart was developed, showing teams spatially and not hierarchically. These connections were then tested and superimposed onto the planning grids, providing cross connections in team activity and output.

(January 2020)

The central stair and verandahs create a dynamic and compelling link and journey through Nexthome.

(February 2020)

The interiors and ceiling layouts are underway and the views are looking amazing!

(July/ August 2020)

The final stage of a two year project – the John Holland Office really coming together with the final finishes and all the furniture in place!