Case Study: Microsoft HQ

Koskela worked closely with GroupGSA on key parts of the new Microsoft HQ. Spanning seven levels of the tallest tower in North Sydney, it’s a vertical village that brings together Microsoft’s 1,400 NSW employees.

Koskela’s bespoke design capabilities were required for one of the most important parts of the fit out, a 17-and 19-seat boardroom table. As a technology company, Microsoft required a lot of technology to be seamlessly integrated into their boardroom tables. Koskela’s Anssi table was the design selected because of its central panel in the top that can neatly house power, data, and AV hardware. Anyone in a meeting can easily plug-in or connect wirelessly via this central command.

Ordinarily with the Anssi table, one leg has a concealed cavity for cable reticulation that is easily accessed by removing the white ash ‘cap’ on the leg. Due to the number of cables Microsoft required, this was not feasible and Koskela’s industrial designers developed an elegant central leg for cable reticulation that is still easily accessible for facilities management. What’s more, Koskela’s industrial design team could provide renders for GroupGSA and Microsoft to visualise, and detailed shop drawings for the builder and trades to work with.


The bespoke Anssi boardroom table seamlessly integrates technology. Photo: Steve Brown

The bespoke Anssi boardroom table seamlessly integrates technology. Photo: Steve Brown

First Nations woven lampshades are dotted throughout the HQ. Photo: Steve Brown


The inspiration for the interior scheme was Australia’s iconic landscapes, and consultation with First Nations peoples was considered necessary for its success. GroupGSA worked with Microsoft’s Indigenous Representation Team to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concerns at an inherent level.

For one element, Koskela supplied our First Nations woven lampshades, 37 in total. These were used as floor lamps throughout the fit out, bringing warmth and cosiness to quiet nooks. The lampshades are from two of Koskela’s ongoing collections: Tili Wiru, woven by the fibre artists of Tjanpi Desert Weavers, who are based in the APY Lands of remote north-west South Australia; and Yuta Badayala, woven by the fibre artists of Elcho Island Arts, who live on Elcho Island in Arnhem Land, which occupies the north-east corner of the Northern Territory. The lampshades are woven with fibres harvested locally, bringing a genuine sense of Country into the Microsoft HQ.

Koskela was able to bring our bespoke design and First Nations design facilitation services to this project, and help make it a success. Congratulations to GroupGSA and Microsoft on this world-class HQ, which shows a strong commitment to placemaking in a post-pandemic world.

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