Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore last night opened a new studio for HASSELL on the city’s harbour waterfront at Walsh Bay.

Around 150 architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners and interior designers will work in the new studio, part of the historic Pier 8/9, originally built in 1914 to store and load wool on to ships bound for Europe. But last night 400 invited guests toured the new studio and helped HASSELL celebrate its arrival in the city’s creative precinct.

Clover Moore congratulated HASSELL on the new studio. “Isn’t it fabulous to see this wharf used for the wonderful work HASSELL does?” she said.

Introducing Councillor Moore, HASSELL Principal and Chair of the International Executive, Ken Maher, said the practice cared about the cities it works in, and the role design can play in enriching them. He said the new studio reflects the values HASSELL stands for and its inclusive, collaborative and creative culture.

Established in Adelaide in 1938, HASSELL is celebrating its 75th anniversary year. It is now an international design practice, operating studios in five Australian cities, five in China, two in South East Asia and two in the United Kingdom.

In Sydney, HASSELL is working on projects including:

_The Sydney International Convention Exhibition and Entertainment Centre and the associated public domain known as Darling Harbour Live
_A new glasshouse and tropical centre at the Botanic Gardens – The Biome Top End
_Sydney Light Rail project from Randwick and Kingsford through the heart of the CBD to Circular Quay
_The bid for the North West Rail Link enhancing travel along the Sydney North West corridor
_The Westconnex urban renewal project
_Taylor Square Bike Hub
_Major workplaces including ANZ’s new Sydney head office and Hub Sydney, a collaborative co-working venue and a new workplace for Screen Australia
_Summer Hill Flour Mill redevelopment
_60 Martin Place renewal
_The Young Street Precinct at Circular Quay

The new studio takes up 2,600 square metres in Pier 8/9. The move to an industrial wharf building re-imagined for a new purpose continues a HASSELL tradition – the practice’s Shanghai studio is in a former motorcycle factory, in Brisbane it is housed in a transformed bakery and in Melbourne it occupies what was once a clothing warehouse.

The new studio is designed to reflect the engaged culture HASSELL has fostered over the years. It is focused on a large double height creative hub that reveals the historic fabric and function of the building. This space facilitates everything from incidental get-togethers, to formal presentations and even performances for larger groups.

The main studio space on the mezzanine level overlooks the hub, placing the designers and the design process on display, visible from both the entry below and throughout the large character-filled workspaces.

“Our carefully designed studio environment, situated in a finger wharf on Sydney Harbour is a truly amazing place to work,” said HASSELL Sydney Managing Principal Matthew Pullinger. “And the official launch showed that it is also a great place for celebration.”

He said HASSELL is celebrating the new studio with a major contribution to Sydney’s Vivid Festival of Light, Music and Ideas.

“Our designers have produced four separate Vivid installations that are drawing hundreds of thousands of people to the city’s streets,” he said.

“The Vivid installations may appear modest compared to some of the projects we work on. But they give our people a great opportunity to extend their creativity and sense of fun. It also demonstrates our commitment to making a contribution to enlivening creative places and the cities we live and work in.”

Find out more about the four installations HASSELL has contributed to 2013 Vivid Sydney and watch this video to find out about the design process and design teams.