Challenger Australian Headquarters

Australian investment management firm, Challenger, recently moved into their new HQ at the iconic No. 5 Martin Place.

The historic building, immortalised in the Commonwealth Bank’s ‘money-box’ tin, had undergone a recent renovation that fused heritage details with a soaring glass tower to become a new contemporary workplace at the heart of Sydney’s CBD. We were tasked with providing wayfinding and environmental graphics that referenced the modern commercial brand set amongst this historical backdrop.

Taking the building’s heritage as our starting point, we devised a series of geometric patterns based on ornate architectural details. These patterns were then developed further to bring them in line with the Challenger brandmark – a faceted diamond that signified beauty as well as precision. These patterns, a blend old and new, were then used in varying forms to animate walls, glazing and signage around the site. 

In the building’s main atrium, a series of 3D tiles were installed across 3 floors to provide activation to corridors whilst visually linking the vertical tenancy. The faceted forms directly referenced the Challenger brand, whilst the colours and repetition had strong links to the architectural fit-out.

These geometric facets were further explored through a family of signs that guided around the building and identified key spaces, and were designed to provide a visual contrast to the rich timbers of the heritage space, whilst legible in a busy environment.

The final piece of the scheme involved creating a brand for the in-house cafe space. The name Hive@Five was reimagined as a sculptural piece of typography. Folded copper signage was introduced to complement the classic interiors, with polished faces accentuating the design language.

Photography by Steve Brown

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