Wellness by the water – Lend Lease Barangaroo

When it came to designing a new home for Lend Lease, the greatest challenge was to create a space that was unique and special – even more than their already impressive residence at The Bond. The resultant living and breathing environment, found at the heart of bustling Barangaroo, is a triumph that harvests light to create ambience while enhancing the wellness philosophy of the design.

Michael Sparrow, the Senior Lighting Engineer on the project, had the good fortune of working on all three of the Lend Lease office spaces, each of which was built in line with the company’s core values of ingenuity, integrity, innovation, collaboration, respect, excellence and trust.

Known as ‘International Towers’, the commercial building in Barangaroo sits within a hub of retail and residential buildings in Sydney, a development attempting to shift the CBD closer to the water.

The design spares nothing in its pursuit of health and wellbeing in the workplace, bringing to bear a depth of research. Sparrow worked alongside Light Project to translate a concept design into a functioning working product, with lighting choices selected not just for their aesthetic value, but also to bring life and warmth into a corporate fitout.

“The lighting scheme not only needed to provide light to see by, but the concept had to make a statement of place,” explains Sparrow. This statement was introduced through integration of lighting in a fine, layered approach that included custom built luminaires installed in a seemingly random circular manner. The fittings throughout the building were chosen for sustainability and fitted with smart controls.

Sparrow credits ambiance and visual perception as the key elements that help transition between office environments and communal areas, both working to create distinct differences in look and feel, tone and mood. “Ambience is the sub-conscious acknowledgement of acceptance,” he says.

A passionate lighting specialist who has been involved in countless large-scale projects in his time as a Senior Lighting Engineer at Lend Lease, Sparrow’s career has spanned the better part of four decades. He has seen lighting grow and evolve; shaping what is now a healthy industry in Australia driven by a sustainable story pertaining to all things LED.

“Australia is not lagging on the world stage,” says Sparrow of our local lighting design market. “Our clients are getting smarter as they request the latest technology.”

Sparrow attributes this rise in architectural lighting industry, in part, to the inception of Vivid Sydney. The festival of ideas, music, and above all, light, is a formulation of iconic creative industries in a free exhibition that brings together art, technology and commerce in its transformation of Sydney’s iconic urban spaces.

“Vivid Sydney has opened the minds of many clients who now want something salubrious,” says Sparrow, upon reflection.