Jeff Morehen on Darling Quarter at World Architecture Festival

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"Workplaces can become more hybrid in their nature" - Jeff Morehen on Darling Quarter

World Architecture Festival 2012: in this movie, Australian architect Jeff Morehen of Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp tells Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs how the workplaces of the future should be "more hybrid in their nature" and accommodate public facilities, just like his Darling Quarter offices in Sydney that won the office category at the World Architecture Festival this month.

Darling Quarter by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Located beside the harbour, the building curls around a large open space to create a public park and children's play area. "Putting an office in a park was quite an unusual commission," says Morehen, before explaining how his team had to overcome the "corporate nature and privatisation" that usually accompanies this kind of commercial building.

Darling Quarter by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Above: photograph is by Florian Groehn

The architect compares the project to some of the public buildings his studio has worked on. "Often libraries that we're invited to do are more than a library, they become a community meeting space with a whole series of overlaid functions," he explains. "I think it's very natural that we start thinking about that for our workplaces."

Darling Quarter by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

Cafes, bars and restaurants line the edge of the ground floor, creating open spaces that can also be used as workplaces. Morehen describes how the current generation of office workers are "no longer tied to desks" and can use the city as their workplace. "No longer are we individuals just tapping away at computers, he says. "More and more we're collaborative and we need a range of settings to do that."

Darling Quarter by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

We’ve filmed a series of interviews with award winners at the World Architecture Festival. See all the movies we’ve published so far, including our interview with architect Chris Wilkinson about the World Building of the Year.

Darling Quarter by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

See all our stories about WAF 2012 »

Photography is by John Gollings, apart from where otherwise stated.