American Australian Association

American Australian Association

The American Australian Association (AAA) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to strengthening ties and collaboration between Australia and the United States and has opened its headquarters high above New York City.

With the interior designed by Woods Bagot, aimed at “melding the spirit of Australia with the corporate culture of New York”.


Click-on Battens


American Oak
Columns of timber in an expansive workplace

Design Brief

The challenge set for Woods Bagot involved the creation of a flexible office area catering to the staff’s needs, while also having the capability to transition into an appealing event venue for the AAA’s diverse social events. The design seamlessly integrates movable furniture and fittings, effectively serving a dual purpose by infusing elements of hospitality into the office setting.

In close proximity to both the United Nations and the Australian Consulate-General, the headquarters serves as a platform to foster and strengthen Australian-American relations in NYC. A diverse range of activities will take part in the space such as hosting discussions, performances, exhibitions, and networking receptions. Therefore, the design needed to be varied for a range of settings.

Words from Krista Ninivaggi – Principal, Woods Bagot

“While working with Sculptform was a first for our NYC based team, our colleagues experience in Australia gaveus the confidence that we could turn to them as partners and guide us in the technical recommendations for the product. Ultimately, we chose the Click on-Batten based on the the Sculptform team’s suggestion that it would be the best approach for what we wanted to achieve.

We wanted the design of the space to evoke the feeling of the natural landscape of Australia, specifically The Outback so the use of wood and the warmth it provides was a material we gravitated to. Sculptform was a natural choice to express the design intent. The batten system made the means and methods less rigid than comparable systems and gave us the opportunity to design complex curves and overlapping geometries. We were able to take a complex parametric design and apply it to our space with ease.

We were impressed that the installation of the Sculptform seemed to be quick. It was also very appealing that we could incorporate acoustic material behind and essentially hide it behind the beauty of the wood feature. The substructure was seamless compared to other systems that have more complicated or rigid substructures and tend to interfere with the design.”

“The design ambition was to create a space that felt organic and contrasted the hard lines of the New York cityscape just outside the windows. We accomplished this through the floor pattern, furniture selection, and most importantly with the Sculptform cladding on the walls and ceiling. ”

Krista Ninivaggi, Principal Interior Design

Woods Bagot

The beautiful curved American oak timber battens

A Statement of Curved Oak

The space benefits from sweeping views of the skyline through unobstructed expanses of glass. A beautiful statement throughout the interior are the American Oak Click-on Battens, which cling to walls, ceilings, and columns throughout the space. Woods Bagot intended for the timber battens to ‘evoke the undulating and layered Australian topography while creating a cocoon-like feeling of warmth’.

Curved American oak feature ceiling and wall

The curved timber features bend upwards toward the ceiling, drawing the eye to the exposed ceiling structure, intended to amplify the sense of verticality alongside the expanses of glass.

The oak battens tastefully embellish the columns, the lobby and encase a subtle golden bar area, extending to frame a pair of frosted glass sliding doors, leading to private offices and a boardroom; included to fulfill the practical aspects of the business.

Specification Information
Product Sculptform Click-on Battens
Material Wood
Species American Oak
Profile 30x30 - Block, 30x60 - Block
Spacing 30mm
Coating Rubio Natural
Mounting Track Standard and Curving
Acoustic Backing Yes

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Columns of timber in an expansive workplace
Curved American oak feature ceiling and wall

Fusion of Culture

A significant aspect of the design brief was to infuse elements of Australia throughout the interior. This is obviously achieved through the application of our timber Click-on Battens, but custom art also makes an appearance and demands attention.

A focal point within the office is an artwork commissioned from the APY Art Centre Collective. Created by eight Indigenous female artists from Adelaide, it’s a fusion of colour and brings life and culture to the interior where it hangs in the bar area. The artwork is about the work of Ngangkari (Traditional Healers) depicting some of the traditional plants that are used as medicine for the Anangu Traditional Healers.

Timber feature walls and curved ceiling
American Australian Association surrounded by timber

Project Summary


Woods Bagot

Completion Date



JRM Construction Management


New York


Adrian Gaut



Create your own inspiration

Our Price & Spec tool was created to streamline your design process in an intuitive way. Plus, get real time pricing, specification data and samples for your custom sequence.