Work Meets Play
Influences from the region are worked into the interiors of Danone’s six-month-old Singapore office in Tanjong Pagar. Occupying about 29,000 sq ft across an entire floor at its Guoco Tower location at Tanjong Pagar Centre, the office serves about 200 employees and opened in April this year. Danone is a multinational food product company, which owns famous labels including spring water brand Evian and manufactures milk brands Dumex and Aptamil. The new office is separated into two kinds of spaces: dynamic spaces which comprise a mix of both formal and informal areas that allow for conversations, meetings and brainstorming sessions; and residential spaces that house individual workspaces, lockers and quieter areas for better concentration.
All the spaces are meant to provide employees with “a homely feeling and a sense of pride”, says Ms Chetna Manglik, talent director of Danone’s Asia Pacific and Middle-East region. At the bright and cheerful Singapore-themed pantry, which features Peranakan tiles and a foosball table, staff can help themselves to snacks such as energy bars, biscuits, yogurt and water from brands affiliated with the company. A Japan-themed informal area comes with sofas and cabinets in the light pink shade of cherry blossoms, while delicate origami birds float above a seating area. The China-themed informal area is decorated in red, with Oriental-inspired furniture and bamboo decor. The area also hosts two stationary bicycles which, when in motion, can power mobile phones.
Formal areas also have a chic feel. Take an Indonesia-themed meeting room, for instance: It comes with muslin curtains and blue and white upholstered chairs, while woven rattan baskets pattern the walls. To encourage employees to think out of the box, there is a creativity room with large beanbags and suspended swings in place of seats around a meeting table. A chair hangs upside-down from the ceiling and employees can pen down points on writable walls.
A Sense Of Place With Bursts Of Colour
The five coloured dots in hotel website Agoda’s logo – red, yellow, green, purple and blue – are put to good use at its new office in Guoco Tower at Tanjong Pagar Centre. Near the entrance is a colourful seating area that is designed and shaped to look like the five dots. The five colours also find their way into furniture, carpeted areas and the backdrops of meeting rooms and other spaces in the 18,000 sq ft office that has been home to about 100 employees since January this year. Wallpaper depicting local attractions and scenery are seen throughout the space.
One scene depicts skydivers descending towards the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. Another shows the iconic Old Hill Street Police Station building, which dates back to 1934. Its windows used to be grey, but are now rainbow-hued following a transformation project in the late 1990s.
“We wanted to have a sense of place and connect the office with Singapore,” says Mr Peter Allen, managing director of Agoda Outside. Agoda Outside is the company’s public affairs arm.
Other noteworthy features include writable and collapsible walls. The latter allows for spaces to be opened up and converted from meeting rooms to townhall-style spaces within minutes. Offices of higher-level employees are also deliberately located away from the window perimeter, so that the privilege of having good views and natural lighting is shared by all.
This story first appeared on www.straitstimes.com