bringing new meaning to word: "groundscraper" - all 87,000sqm of it.
ANZ opens grand new HQ
November 7, 2009
THE idea was hatched when the global banking industry was booming. And at a cost of $750 million, little expense was spared on ANZ's new headquarters that now dominates the Docklands skyline.
While banks across Britain and the US struggle with deep losses and some have needed mammoth taxpayer funded bail-outs, inside the vast glass walls of ANZ Centre yesterday the financial crisis was clearly not on the guest list at its opening.
Few banks in the world could now even consider upgrading their headquarters as they struggle with a daily battle to stay afloat. Almost none could afford the ANZ's video art installation in the foyer, its polished stone surfaces, designer furniture and the sweeping atrium hollowing out the 10-storey building.
More than 6500 staff - equal to the population of Castlemaine - will work out of the building, giving much-needed bustle to the pointy end of Docklands. Banks and insurers are finding their feet in Docklands, with ANZ now sharing the neighbourhood with National Australia Bank, AXA Asia Pacific and Medibank.
ANZ was at pains to point out the green credentials of its new headquarters. The building will produce 70 per cent less greenhouse emissions than other commercial buildings. It will tap gas-fired energy and on-site solar and wind power to generate much of its own electricity. Water use will also be down significantly, helped by the storage of rainwater.
Unusually, the building will be kept cool with the help of Yarra River water flowing past.
ANZ chief executive Mike Smith described the move into the building as a new era for the bank.
These days armed with a new logo, ANZ is looking more to the streets of China and Hong Kong for its growth. But the scale of the headquarters sends a signal that it plans to be anchored in Melbourne - for now at least.
In its 171-year history in Melbourne, ANZ has rarely ventured far from Collins Street. It remains on Collins, but is now a little further down the tram line.
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