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Bespoke Careers

26 July 2018

26 July 2018

Hayball, Sydney: Collaborative, Entrepreneurial, Supportive.

The Culture of Practice

Hayball has traditionally been a Melbourne-based practice but two years ago it set up in Sydney. The office, which started with just one member of staff – Director David Tordoff – has grown steadily to a medium-sized firm of twenty.

“We didn’t start up in Sydney based on potential projects but on the strength of our relationships in the area,” comments Tordoff. “We began to pick-up work by winning design competitions and by trading on our strong reputation in the education sector,” he adds. The practice has been so successful in the city it is now set to move to a larger office in the Surry Hills area of Sydney, which it says will allow it to double in size again. This new office will also demonstrate innovative working methods as it plans to adopt an activity-based working model – rare for an architecture practice where staff are so often tied to set work stations. Here, staff will have laptops and flexible work stations with lockers for their belongings. There will be a large array of different working environments including booths, diners, a white board room, maker spaces, and library areas. Staff will be able to pick up their laptops and sit anywhere.

It is part of the practice’s collaborative working model – currently they use a cloud-based resourcing system which means its architects can be working nationally on projects out of any of Hayball’s offices across Australia. “Geographic location is not a restriction on the teams which we establish,” adds Tordoff. 

He continues: “Our studio in Sydney has the best of both worlds at the moment. We are supported by a very large practice which is great for the resourcing benefits which we receive but we are also still at a size where we are a medium-sized practice in our own right and there is a strong community aspect to that.” 

At the time of this interview, Hayball Sydney had outgrown its Pyrmont studio and was moving to Surry Hills. Hayball’s design for the new studio has converted a cubicle office layout in a former shoe factory into an open-plan interior, fully embracing activity-based-working and spaces for co-creation.


Author: Josefina Luna, Marketing Assistant, Bespoke Careers

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