Case Study The Porter Evolution

Opened in 2014 The Porter, a collaboration between Haworth, Gensler and Lend Lease, was borne from global research highlighting the need to offer the new mobile worker an inspiring destination outside of the traditional office space. The Porter is a curated, premium collaborative business space that makes the building ‘come alive’ by creating a destination in the previously idle lobby area.


Sydney, Australia

The vision of The Porter is to create an organic space that evolves over time leveraging real-time data of space usage and continued member engagement research assessing the utility of work-setting and space requirements. The Porter is driven by knowledge and data making it the most intelligent, seamless and productive collaboration space of its kind.

Three years after launching The Porter, the original project team embarked on a refurbishment of the space using a more humancentric approach to designing workplace. Through the use of analytics, art, biophelia and acoustics, The Porters refresh centred around creating a ‘sticky’ destination that fosters creativity and innovation while supporting the people who inhabit it. 

The Porter now incorporates a mix of work-settings to support the diverse day-to-day activities including; settings for both open and focus individual and collaborative work, informal and formal meeting places and a flexible event space. The atmosphere is enhanced through colours and textures that echo a luxury residential feel, creating a warmer and more welcoming environment. This residential feel shapes the culture of the space and reflects the tenants of 1 O’Connell St.


The use of Haworth Analytics provided access to data to understand how people were utilising The Porter and shape the future space design. Haworth Analytics creates Smart Furniture to provide real-time data with insights and information on current utilisation and effectiveness of design.

The study highlighted the need for: Increased number of work surfaces. The average usage per work point of the 8 seater meetings rooms was 2/8 demonstrating a need for an increased number of smaller work surfaces throughout the space. 

The qualitative and quantitative data from the space utilisation study helped to inform the selection of work-settings in the refurbishment.

Replacement of multi person (3 or more) 

lounge settings with individual settings. o The average usage of the conjoint circular 4-person collaborative lounge was 2/4. Therefore, it was replaced by two separate two-seater lounges. Qualitative feedback expressed the hesitation of using multi person lounge settings in a business environment. The curved setting was difficult to access therefore being replaced by parallel facing booths.

Art and Biophelia: 

Introducing art and biophelia was a core concept in the redesign of The Porter. Having a strong visual environment is shown to have a beneficial impact promoting the health and well-being of users with effects such as decreasing stress, providing mental restoration and improving an individual’s mood leading to a boost of morale and creativity within the workplace. The refresh included 50 potted plants and multiple art pieces transforming The Porter into a better experiential workplace for its members. 


Audible interruptions and distractions are a constant concern in all collaborative environments and business lounges. Office workers lose 28% of their productive time due to interruptions and distractions. A balance between quiet and noisy spaces needed to be achieved to promote both the collaborative and individual focus work that takes place. 

The Porter refresh includes new work-pods, acoustics materials and screens to reduce lateral sound reflections from the open collaborative settings. Using these elements, the new look Porter inspires creativity and innovation, while reinforcing the identity of The Porter as a dynamic, innovative and sophisticated space.