WSP has done exactly that in the new Brisbane office which is providing a collaborative and inspiring workplace to more than 600 people. We engaged local Indigenous artist Ailsa Walsh from Wulkuraka Designs to bring an Aboriginal narrative to 900 Ann Street. Ailsa is connected to the Kullili and Lardil nations via tribal bloodlines and the Yuggera nation through family. Her unique background permits her to use a variety of art styles and techniques in her work.
Our interior design partner, Hassell, collaborated with WSP’s Indigenous Specialists Services team and Ailsa to integrate and extend Indigenous knowledge and designs throughout the office fitout including: lift lobby wraps; colour palettes of flooring, wall colours and soft furnishings; Indigenous patterns throughout meeting spaces; and a yarning circle in the communal staff area.
“From five years of age, I watched my late uncle paint and he taught me various techniques that I use today,” explains Ailsa. “My style is based on the land, landscapes, stars, bush tukka and animals and I love that I can make a difference through my art – to work with the community and connect with our heritage and culture.
“I was compelled to work with WSP on this project because of the strong alignment in your work between communities and cultures as well as your Reconciliation Action Plan. The paintings I have created, which are featured across each of the four floors, are centred around different elements but they are all connected – from the wetlands on the lowest level to welcoming guests at the Brisbane River, bush tukka in the meeting and gathering space, through to the Spirit Snake overlooking as a guardian.”
Michael Hromek (Badawang, Yuin), WSP’s Technical Executive of Indigenous Architecture says, “It has been a pleasure collaborating with Ailsa and Hassell on the interior design of our Brisbane office. We are generating meaningful opportunities for Indigenous people, businesses and communities across project lifecycles on infrastructure and property projects that are creating lasting legacies for future generations.”