SW1 SOLUTIONS: COLLABORATIVE WORKSPACE DESIGN V10N1
FEB - MAY 2017
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MAKING NEW CONNECTIONS | TRANSFORMATIVE VISION | PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST | RELIVING THE ASTRAL PLANE TRADITION TRANSFORMED | CUSTOMISATION AND CONNECTIVITY | HUMANISING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
TOWARDS A COMMON VISION “A job worth doing is worth doing together” is a sentiment that hits home within and beyond the far-reaching realm of design. Knowing firsthand the unparalleled benefits of putting multiple heads together to achieve extraordinary results, designers are perhaps best versed among us to take on the all-too important task of devising effective and inclusive workplaces.
reating an activity-based workplace (ABW) that ensures that all hands are on deck requires a truly multifaceted approach. The job calls for heightened sensitivity to our surroundings, coordination and utmost, an unwavering interest in people. It’s a tall order that, in our view, deserves a shout-out or three. Hence, in this issue of Office Concept, it’s our pleasure to celebrate the projects and creative minds responsible for doing away with that ever-so-lonesome work cubicle by turning offices into inspirational hubs of interaction and productivity As always, I’d like to extend my thanks to our stellar collaborators for putting their weight towards yet another meaningful edition. A special note of appreciation goes out to SW1 for the head-turning project contributions seen in the following pages. As the design firm continues to break new international ground for Malaysian interior design, we’ll be there to root them on!
Corresponding with Office Concept’s 10th anniversary, this edition also charts our recent expansion efforts into 10 countries within the Asia Pacific. We look forward to the input and support of our existing readers and those of the magazine’s newer followers as we continue to set our sights on exciting new horizons. Meanwhile, to get regular updates on what we’ve been up to and where we’re headed, I encourage you to sign up for our newsletter. Feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com.
LINQ by GIRSBERGER
H+R ISSUE 05 FEBRUARY EDITION 2017
DESIGN DELIVERS A SENSE OF PLACE
ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE - ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA BY WOODS BAGOT
TERRIFIC TRIO LIGHT, ADAPTABLE AND BRACINGLY STYLISH, SCHIAVELLO FANS WAITED WITH BATED BREATH ON THE BRANDâ€™S LONG ANTICIPATED AIRE COLLECTION - FOR GOOD REASON. GLOBAL STUDIO REDEFINING THE NOTION OF A GLOBAL COMMUNITY ACROSS BOTH PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL CHANNELS, WOODS BAGOT RELIES ON COLLABORATION AND COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE TO DELIVER DESIGN EXCELLENCE. FREE DIGITAL VERSION OF H+R MAGAZINE WHEN YOU SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER AT SUBSCRIBE.HR@KENNETHMEDIA.ASIA
OFFICE CONCEPT CONTENTS 010
PUBLISHER’S NOTE TOWARDS A COMMON VISION
LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS MORE THAN JUST AN AESTHETIC CHANGE, IT’S A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THOUGHT AND ATTITUDE
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WORKSPACE DESIGN & BUILD REVOLUTIONISING THE OFFICE EXPERIENCE MAKING NEW CONNECTIONS THE BEST OF BRITISH EDUCATION TRANSFORMATIVE VISION PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST RELIVING THE ASTRAL PLANE TRADITION TRANSFORMED
FINA EXECUTIVE by BRUNNER
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CUSTOMISATION AND CONNECTIVITY HUMANISING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY BEST PRACTICES A CREATIVE FORCE
102 104 110 114 118 122 126 13 0 13 6
FITTING INTERIORS MANIFEST A SENSE OF TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE MOVING WITH THE TIMES A CHAIR THAT STANDS APART SOCIAL STRUCTURE HOT SEAT HOTSPOT OFFICE CREATIVE SPACES TRANSLUCENT AND ACOUSTICALLY EFFECTIVE
142 14 6
THE SOCIAL CIRCLE TRANSCENDENCE IN TIME
KAISER IDELL by FRITZ HANSEN
editorial MANAGING EDITOR Kenneth Khu DEPUTY EDITOR Pang Yin Ying EDITOR Christine Lee
design ART DIRECTOR Eric Phoon SENIOR DESIGNER Sandy Liew contributors WRITERS Adele Chong, Dorothy Lung WORKSPACE DESIGN SW1 Solutions sales & marketing SENIOR SALES MANAGER Edmond Lee SALES EXECUTIVE Kelvin Ong publication PUBLISHER Kenneth Khu
CONTENTS & PARTNERS
026 MORE THAN JUST AN AESTHETIC CHANGE, ITâ€™S A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THOUGHT AND ATTITUDE SW1 SOLUTIONS
enquiries ADVERTISING firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL email@example.com CONTRIBUTION firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTION email@example.com website www.officeconcept.asia | www.kennethmedia.asia contact KENNETH MEDIA SDN BHD 1002 Block D Tiara Kelana Jalan SS7/19 Kelana Jaya 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia T: +603 7887 4525
AERON by HERMAN MILLER
photo credits COVER: SW1 SOLUTIONS SECTION OPENER: DESIGN & BUILD SW1 SOLUTIONS LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS SW1 SOLUTIONS FITTING INTERIORS HERMAN MILLER THE SOCIAL CIRCLE HAWORTH & EURO printer PERCETAKAN IMPRINT (M) SDN BHD No.538, Jalan 20 Taman Perindustrian Ehsan Jaya, Kepong 52100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia permit number KDN PP18848/09/2015(034306) MCI(P) 045/01/2017 magazine OC | Office Concept is published three times a year and is circulated throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.
TRANSLUCENT AND ACOUSTICALLY EFFECTIVE
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POSH AND PRIM
THE HOT SEAT
There’s more than meets the eye with the Trinetic. Another stellar offering by British brand Boss Design, this smartly composed wonder also happens to be the world’s first fully certified task chair that eschews the need for manual user adjustments. An ergonomically-sound position is automatically achieved via three independent pivot points, a flexible seat and backrest, meaning you can focus on more important tasks at hand – like reaching for that second cup of coffee.
Known for its suave, bare-bones approach, Boss Design is once again proving that less is more with the sleekly sophisticated Alexa. Paired with a range of fabric or leather upholstery options, a hardwood internal frame gives this winsome piece a strong, streamlined shape without compromising on comfort. A sturdy sprung seat and back means durability and unending support even in frequent-use situations such as corporate receptions and executive lounge areas.
Feeling the strain of high-powered corporate life? The Fina Executive makes you look great under pressure, at the very least. This smartly crafted conference chair isn’t all good looks though. Its simple, minimalist framework belies its complex inner workings, namely a synchronous mechanism that incorporates a stepless back adjustment and easy-to-use height adjuster for optimal comfort. Seated in the conference room or your own office, Fina helps you make those hardhitting decisions in impeccable style.
LEAN ON IN
SETTING A BENCHMARK
AN INSPIRED READ
At first glance, the Ray chair gives off the impression of floating in mid-air, thanks to the slender, barely-there forms that define its framework. The crowning jewel is surely the exquisitely curved back which is invisibly mounted to the steel frame and the plastic shell. A clean amalgamation of parts that merge seamlessly into each other, Rayâ€™s graceful structure conveys a feeling of lightness in any space.
British designer James Burleigh has been creating comely furniture pieces that marry function and cutting edge aesthetics for two decades. The Mylo benching system is no exception. Thoroughly adaptable in look and feel, the range comes available in a wide range of high-quality timbers, fabrics as well as width spans, allowing users unrestrained creative control. The combination of natural wood grain and dashing upholstery also makes Mylo particularly appealing in gallery or waiting room settings.
Crafted by envelope-pushing brand Orangebox, Boom takes a direct cue from the Victorian past. Turning the classic winged high back library chair on its head, this striking design was created to make a splash in homes and offices alike. Built with a traditional wood frame, its characteristic silhouette is given life via shaped and applied foam upholstery. A solid wood base in oak, beech or walnut affords a timeless, sophisticated touch.
REST AND RETREAT
MAKING CONNECTIONS COUNT
INTO THE FOLD
Feel the need to temporarily disappear into your own nook? Then the HM87 chair by Simon Pengelly might be just what you need. Acknowledging the need for individual privacy in public areas, this thoughtful design offers users their own miniature oasis of calm. Upholstered in vinyl, fabric and supple leather and featuring a sculpted shell moulded in high-density cmhr polyurethane foam on a steel frame with sprung seat, HM87 also comes with a self-centering swivel base.
Unapologetically dynamic, the HM83 bench is a visual tour de force. Seemingly inspired by molecular or biological systems, this stunning public seating solution turns up the heat as a standalone feature or a linked arrangement made from multiple parts and enhanced by smart accessories (a metal underplate can even be fitted to prevent concealment of terrorist devices). Built to withstand extended wear, the HM83’s robust structure, composed of a steel underframe with stainless steel legs, is also a fundamental part of its aesthetic charm. HITCHMYLIUS.CO.UK
Is there anything that the Fina Fold can’t do? We think not. Affording more space by means of rolling and folding, this deftly portable table and quick-change artist by the Brunner Group was designed to fit into virtually any nook and cranny. A flat foot stabiliser means minimal effort when folding the Fina and tucking it away after use, making it a godsend for conferences and events both large and small.
SHADES OF EVENING
TOUCH OF CLASS
Known for offbeat designs that prod at our collective imagination, Marcel Wanders is a serious believer in the art of play. Though outwardly more understated than some of his past works, the Space-Frame light is no less scintillating, albeit in its own pared down way. A geometric framework of light metal wires and transparent lights that hangs on a hinge and shifts gently in mid-air, the piece subtly celebrates independence and the idea of complete freedom.
You canâ€™t go wrong with a light piece that is both chic and functional, which is why the Bounce table lamp by designer Karl Zahn for American design house Roll & Hill is a winner. Exuding understated glamour, this elegant number is a compact spin-off of the original Bounce range. Its shapely form may turn heads but the real clincher is the seductive contrast of the folded aluminum shade with white underside and the black wood veneer finish.
Purveyors of Scandinavian cool, Fritz Hansen hits the mark once again with the KAISER idell. An original Bauhaus design, this sleekly composed table lamp comes with charm, utility and illustrious pedigree to boot. The world-patented swivel joint characteristic dome embossed with its moniker is a true head-turner, but refined details such as the chrome-plated elements consisting of polished and silver-soldered brass arenâ€™t exactly lacking panache. Available in a range of fashionable colours.
OFFICE CONCEPT LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS 022
AS THE WORLD OF DESIGN TRANSFORMS AND TRANSITIONS, INDUSTRY LEADERS ARE CONSTANTLY CHALLENGING THEMSELVES TO INNOVATE. WE GO UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THESE LEADERS TO UNCOVER THEIR PLANS.
SW1 SOLUTIONS & TEAM
SW1 SOLUTIONS DESIGN & BUILD 024 THIS PICTURE: Swami Jayaraman, Managing Director of SW1 Solutions.
MORE THAN JUST AN AESTHETIC CHANGE, IT’S A PARADIGM SHIFT IN THOUGHT AND ATTITUDE TO THE UNINITIATED, RENOVATING OR REBUILDING AN OFFICE SEEMS MERELY AN EXERCISE IN REFURBISHMENT; FOR A FRESH NEW LOOK. SPEAK TO MR. SWAMI JAYARAMAN, THE M.D. OF DESIGN AND BUILD FIRM SW1 ABOUT THIS TOPIC AND HE’LL TELL YOU THERE’S MUCH, MUCH MORE BENEATH THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG… OFFICECONCEPT.ASIA
SW1 SOLUTIONS DESIGN & BUILD 026
“CHANGE MANAGEMENT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT IN THE DESIGN OF A NEW WORKPLACE. THERE IS NO POINT IN CHANGING THE WORKPLACE (THE HARDWARE) IF THE PEOPLE (THE SOFTWARE) ARE NOT ALSO PRIMED AND PREPARED FOR THE CHANGE. A KEY DRIVER FOR SUCCESS IS THE COMPANY’S ABILITY TO CHANGE THE EMPLOYEE’S MIND SET OF THEIR DAY TO DAY PERCEPTION OF THE WORKPLACE AND DOVETAIL THIS WITH THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT.” Q: With an impressive list of clients that’s growing as we speak, how in your opinion are these choice clients attracted to the prospect of working with you and the SW1 team? A: It all boils down to our ability to put ourselves into the shoes of the client and how we are able to make them understand the solutions that we think will work for them. In the last couple of years we have noticed an increase in the incidence of the activity based workspace (ABW) where the management (of companies) does not determine where and how one should work. The activity based workplace idea is hinged on how the space suits the activity that you’re doing rather than focusing on personal spaces. When there’s a need for privacy, there is of course private spaces created for this purpose, when there is need for collaboration there are different types of spaces made available etc.. Companies that are going this route are really seeing positive improvements in employees’ engagement and productivity. An integral part of the process of creating a new office environment is change management. Change management is becoming increasingly important in the design of a new workplace. There is no point in changing the workplace (the hardware) if the people (the software) are not also primed and prepared for the change. A key driver for success is the company’s ability to change the employee’s mind set of their day to day perception of the workplace and dovetail this with the built environment. For certain companies ABW is indeed the way to go right now. Todays workplace is unique in that contains 4 generations of people, the flexibility that ABW accords is a major advantage as well as a way in which to truly optimise the usage of real estate. We always try to convince clients to think about their work flows and use this to drive their decisions on space utilisation. So, in essence what attracts clients to us is the fact that we can share with them that collaborative experience. Q: SW1 prides itself with working on projects to make a difference; setting benchmarks as it were. Would you say that this is just part of your DNA or is
it part of a mission to slowly but surely change the face of design and build? A: At SW1, we are also constantly pushing ourselves, pushing the bar higher each time and in the process, making ourselves better. Any good company would want to do that. If one were to look at all the best companies in the world, those that are respected, everyone in the company is focused on setting benchmarks, changing benchmarks and keep pushing boundaries. There is a belief that the team can do the things that they set out to do and they have the tenacity to achieve what they started. He set amazingly high standards and constantly motivated people around him to have the same attitude. At SW1, we are also constantly pushing ourselves, pushing the bar higher each time and in the process, making ourselves better. This attitude is encoded in our management system. It’s written into our key procedures and processes and we are constantly changing the way we do things; setting higher standards. We also take our ISO certifications very seriously. Whilst some may just ‘check’ boxes and consider it a done thing, we never stop improving. We actually use it to keep ourselves in check and make changes along the way. In this way, when it’s time to go for the next ISO, we would have made the necessary improvements and updates in our organisation that have effectively made us near ready for that certification; and there’s no need to play catch up. Our creative work is also very processes driven, we believe design is a process....a journey....an exploration. ISO very much governs the way we work. When we follow the workflow and methodologies, it is easier to track back our work. We have to make sure that the procedures and methods are followed, right from the brief to the handover of the projects. In that way, it is also easier to find and rectify errors as we know exactly where to look. It also helps that the system gives us a common ‘language’ (terminologies, etc.) so that we can work faster and smoother without having to explain and re-explain things during the work process. “AT SW1, WE ARE ALSO CONSTANTLY PUSHING OURSELVES, PUSHING THE BAR HIGHER EACH TIME AND IN THE PROCESS, MAKING OURSELVES BETTER.” Q: Some creative outfits like to sometimes work on projects that interest them personally – perhaps just to push the boundaries of their creativity. Do you take on such jobs occasionally even if they were not as high profile as some of your existing clients? A: Yes, we take on such challenges, one example is a boutique law firm’s office in Damansara Heights. It’s a
small space of about 2,000 square feet. Although it’s a small project, we were excited to take on this job because the owner was equally as passionate as us to embark on it. It was located atop a three-storey shop lot, with a clinic in the middle and an Indian restaurant at the ground floor. The building was old and has a lot of inherent problems such as aged plumbing, sanitation issues and so on. In taking on the job, we ‘inherited’ these problems as well. It was like a domino effect of issues, solve one and another would appear....one problem would lead to another (but we have to say the tenants on the lower two floors deserve a lot of credit for their patience...they were really nice people). While doing demolition work at the top, the plumbing unexpectedly gave way, and it rained water on guests in the restaurant below. Not too long after that, the ceiling of the clinic sprung a leak and had to be rectified. The owner graciously paid for the repairs for both establishments as the problems were triggered mostly from the work at their premises. Regrets? None now....but at the time we did feel like we did feel like we were proverbially flogging a dead horse and the problems would never stop appearing. But we adopted a “look three steps ahead” approach to any decision we made on site. We learned a lot from this approach, which we used to improve our management system and it helps us to this today. At the end of the day we came away with a feeling of great satisfaction as well as a grateful and gracious client who was with us every step of the way. We felt we had helped the client solve their problems and this makes us feel we have made a difference. The effort was well worth it. “ALTHOUGH IT’S A SMALL PROJECT, WE WERE EXCITED TO TAKE ON THIS JOB BECAUSE THE OWNER WAS EQUALLY AS PASSIONATE AS US TO EMBARK ON IT.” Q: For an inexperienced young designer working in his first job, his or her experience or exposure to elements that can stimulate inspiration may be somewhat limited. What would your advice be to them to ‘mine’ for ideas? A: There are various types of designer and they all have different skill sets. Someone who is genuinely innovative and creative may not have the ability to structure their thoughts and ideas whereas a structured person may not necessary have the ability to think out of the box. To a certain degree all the skills can be trained but ultimately all companies can do is put the individuals in positions to learn and grow. They have to choose to learn, they have to choose to find excellence in what they do. Thus being proactive and self starting is of prime importance, we always advise young designers to find what they love about design and explore their passion. Communication is another issue. There is no point is
being a great designer if you are unable to communicate your design intent. A lot of our training focuses on this as well as accountability for ones actions. The generation before didn’t have mobile phones or the internet. They had to plan their work, their tasks and time way ahead of any event. Nothing was ‘instant’ then, so they had to think ahead and take into account all possibilities. This is what is we can also try to inculcate with our young designers from the outset. Travel is also another avenue where designers can be inspired. Again we can have our staff go on trips overseas, and send then to product launches overseas etc. but they are encouraged to share photos or any other interesting finds with the rest of the team wherever they may go on their own travel as well. We try and have a design session once a month to share design ideas with all to keep them not just updated but also stimulated creatively. This is actually a surprisingly interesting question for us as these same issues also affect our clients and will influence the way we design for them. Ultimately it is not all about skills it is about values and attitude, these are usually the difference between success and failure of people not only in the workplace but in life too. Q: For yourself personally, can you name who are your role models and what are the works or philosophies that are associated to these icons that have influenced or shaped your career path? A: We actually always try and focus on a companies’ identity and aspirations rather than limit ourselves to bold design gestures, styles or types of design. This provides the bedrock of how we approach a design and then we use the influences of the great designers to inspire us...we do not necessarily restrict our influencers to interior designers or architects we draw from art, fashion, industrial design, graphic design etc... all forms of design shapes what we do. Coming back to my personal inspirations, the Bauhaus school of thought continues to fascinate and attract me. Their influence is timeless and still prevalent and relevant up until this day. Genius Architects such as Frank Lloyd Write, Renzo Piano, IM Peh, Rem Koolhas, and Zaha Hadid are a constant source of amazement. But designers like Phillipe Stark, Jonny Ive, Tom Ford, Vivienne Westwood despite being from different industries set standards that we all strive towards.
“COMING BACK TO THE INSPIRATIONS, RATHER THAN INDIVIDUALS IT’S THE BIG SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT THAT INFLUENCE US – LIKE BAUHAUS. THEIR INFLUENCE IS STILL PREVALENT AND RELEVANT UP UNTIL THIS DAY.”
Q: Why did you choose the path of designing and building offices as opposed to residential or leisure developments? A: In terms of approach, we find doing offices much more challenging and rewarding whereas residential will require a more one-to-one interaction where we have to get into a lot of personal things, details and so on. Most Residential projects are more about decoration than design. For example if the project involves a condominium the space is already determined, this restriction does not allow us to really create space. We have done a few jobs for family and friends, which are actually quite cool but they involve very tolerant and understanding clients. In reality we are not really setup to do those sort of jobs and we’re not really decorators… Of late, we have been making plans to venture out of the corporate office market. We are in fact looking at going into retail as well as hospitality as our systems and approach are synergistic with these types of projects.
DESIGN & BUILD
“MOST RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS ARE MORE ABOUT DECORATION THAN DESIGN” Q: There is a saying “the customer (or in this case the client) is always right”, how far do you accommodate a client’s demands for a certain design aspect that you disagree with? A: Firstly, yes (as a philosophy) the customer is always right. But who is the customer? Is it the company or the individual that is empowered as the client representative? We try to do what’s necessary to get the job done right whilst making the individual client rep look good. But sometimes there are problems. I always use the analogy of a patient going to the doctor with a headache. The doctor prescribes some paracetamol, but the patient insists that his head should be cut off. Doctor tells him that if he does that, he won’t have a head. Sometime we get some clients who ask us to do things which in effect will cut their projects heads off. In reality people listen to their doctors but they don’t always listen to their designers. So, sometimes we have to be tough with the client and communicate with them the right way. There are some clients who know a little and are very opinionated, which is worse than those who don’t know anything at all. They tend to try and bulldoze through to get things done their way. They may mean well, but their characters do not allow them to let go – what we may sometimes call ‘control freaks’ who don’t trust people who they hire to do a job. The way we handle these types of client is a bit like fishing. Allow them a little bit of rope to allow them to appreciate or understand the situation before moving on to the next step. This process of pulling and letting go is a method that we have used to great effect
we’re quite successful at it. Some clients intentionally make it difficult for consultants to work by bringing up issues and complaining about things to vent out their frustrations because they are not able to get what they want as it contravenes corporate directives. It boils down to change management. If it had been done properly these problems will not arise. We are often in these situations; stuck in the middle. But it is our job to deliver regardless of individuals and try keep all parties happy as much as the objectives and brief allow. We have not had any major issues but there are always compromises and disputes that need resolution. “SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO BE TOUGH WITH THE CLIENT AND COMMUNICATE WITH THEM THE RIGHT WAY.” Q: What do you feel about accreditation and the overall quality of the Design & Build Industry in Malaysia? A: Design & build (D & B) is in a bit of a grey area right now. General contractors may not necessarily be equipped or have the correct mindset to properly do design. But on the other hand, design firms may not have the resources or expertise to perform construction works. Accreditation is thus a difficult area. Do you accredit companies as contractors (i.e. builders) or designers? CIBD has great systems to assess and accredit contractors but not designers. PAM/LAM and the MIID has the mandate to accredit Interior Designers but not contractors. But I don’t think there is a body that can govern companies specifically in design & build. In our opinion this needs to be fixed because the industry is hugely stratified; so basically any one can start a business and say that they are an interior design & build company. We thus have a lot of companies with varying abilities who simply play the price game but perhaps are not aware of the local authority requirements, fire safety regulations etc. So for a professional company to compete with these types of companies is not really an apple to apple comparison and this in turn confuses clients. Having said that, the industry has made huge strides recently and we are working hard to get the proper and correct accreditation system for the Interior Design & Build Industry. We are part of a vanguard of companies that try and set the standards and encourage good practice throughout the industry.
“GENERAL CONTRACTORS MAY NOT NECESSARILY BE EQUIPPED OR HAVE THE CORRECT MINDSET TO PROPERLY DO DESIGN. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND DESIGN FIRMS MAY NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES OR EXPERTISE TO PERFORM CONSTRUCTION WORKS.”
THIS PICTURE: Swami Jayaraman, Managing Director of SW1 Solutions.
MALAYSIA SW1 SOLUTIONS 030
COLLABORATIVE EXPERIENCE THATâ€™S THE KEY TO ORGANIC GROWTH
“THE PLACE THAT WILL ATTRACT THEM (TALENT) IS ONE THAT HAS ELEMENTS THAT CAN ENCOURAGE THEM TO THRIVE – NOT JUST A FABULOUS SPACE TO WORK IN BUT ALSO POPULATED BY STIMULATING PEOPLE.”
“Staff retention and talent attraction should be one of the main objectives to be achieved from a new office environment.” This is what Mr Swami Jayaraman, Managing Director of SW1 Solutions told us when speaking about the business of rehashing corporate offices and what clients expect from this often costly affair. Not just for aesthetic reasons, it seems. Rather, it is much more than that – it is about making people not just happy, but happy to work harder and better. Companies build or renovate their offices not just to improve its looks but rather an act of moving forward; an activity that carries the hopes of the organisation and its people to the years ahead. Applying the Activity Based Working (ABW) principle to promote more collaboration and communication among the staff is a signature philosophy that all their clients have come to know them for. According to Swami, “The situation in Malaysia for most companies is the difficulty in attracting the best talent from a very limited pool of top talent. These sought-after individuals; beyond the usual monetary perks, often look for a company that can give them an exciting new experience. This is where companies who want to attract them need to do that by offering a great work environment. The place that will attract them is one that has elements that can encourage them to thrive – not just a fabulous space to work in but should also be one populated by stimulating people.” Clients have been well-satisfied with SW1’s work. One such client as shared by Swami is pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. Applying ingenious techniques which focused on the flexibility of space that’s designed for specific purposes not only brought up morale but led to a delightful decision by the management to expand their office dimensions not long after SW1 delivered their spanking new premise. Prior to engaging SW1, AstraZeneca had gone through a down-sizing exercise, discharging quite a few of their employees. SW1’s approach can be termed as comprehensive.
When taking the brief, the client is made to know that there is a need to understand what they are today and the next step in their journey as a business. Perhaps there will be some contemplation and some soul searching for the company going through a change, but it is absolutely necessary for the design of the office to perfectly fit their purpose for the future. “FROM ASTRAZENECA TO MAYBANK TO ROCHE, IT’S LOOKING VERY MUCH LIKE A DREAM ROLL OF BLUE CHIP CATCHES.” SW1’s flexible way of working - the antithesis of the traditional, rigid fixed-seating style is turning out to be the perfect ‘antidote’ to companies with ailing fortunes. It is slowly, but surely yielding very encouraging results for organisations that adopted its principle. For SW1, the proof is in the list of premier clients which would appear on the wish list of most design enterprises. From AstraZeneca to Maybank to Roche, it’s looking very much like a dream roll of blue chip catches. “… AN AGENT OF THEIR CLIENTS’ PARADIGM SHIFT IN ATTITUDES AND PHILOSOPHY…” SW1 really practices what it preaches. Practicality, flexibility, comfort and design for specific purposes to make the work experience of employees more enjoyable can all be seen right where these ideas were conceived – the SW1 office itself. As clients are increasingly attracted to the great collaborative experience that SW1 Solutions are able to share with them, proves that the latter is not a merely a one solution pedlar but really an agent of their clients’ paradigm shift in attitudes and philosophy… SWONESOLUTIONS.COM
SW1 SOLUTIONS MALAYSIA
REVOLUTIONISING THE OFFICE EXPERIENCE SW1â€™S NEW OFFICE LEADS THE WAY
MALAYSIA SW1 SOLUTIONS 034 THIS PICTURE: As advocates of the activitybased workplace philosophy, SW1â€™s office is indeed proof of the design firm practising what they preach.
he growth of the SW1 practice necessitated the need to move from its old office in Solaris Mont’Kiara to Menara 1MK. The prime location coupled with the increase in real estate value made the decision easy. With the increase in acreage, the new office in Menara 1MK is able to comfortably accommodate the burgeoning team; as well as opportunities for future growth. Moving to a new office presented SW1 with a wonderful design opportunity to better express the SW1 brand as well as expand its base of operations. The challenge here was not only to create a contemporary look, but to create a new experience in office workspace – one with intelligent design. To create an office where collaboration and productivity are key components to success; a survey was conducted with the staff to understand their needs and wants. A wishlist was quickly drawn-up and this became the foundation for SW1’s new home. The core spaces are designed based on an open concept – where each team member has a better avenue to communicate and interact with one another. This is further accentuated by the horizontal view of the entire office. The false ceiling was opened up to create
TOP RIGHT: Free-flow work spaces with voluminous ceiling that gives the impression of vastness.
MALAYSIA SW1 SOLUTIONS 036 THIS PICTURE: No matter where one turns, SW1â€™s office has delightful-but functional nooks that are not only interesting, but has very specific reasons for being there.
“THE CORE SPACES ARE DESIGNED BASED ON AN OPEN CONCEPT – WHERE EACH TEAM MEMBER HAS A BETTER AVENUE TO COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH ONE ANOTHER.”
greater volume within the space - essentially giving each member room to take a breath and lighten the mood. The windows along the perimeter of the office allow natural light to stream through the office space. Coupled with the play of artificial lighting, this creates a light and breezy working ambience. The meeting rooms are designed with collapsible walls – enabling conversion into a conference room should the need arise. As the meeting room is connected to the pantry, a “town hall” area is created when all the partitions are opened up – giving a new dimension and definition to “meeting rooms”. The idea of multi-functionality extends to the joinery – as the collaborative nodes are built together with storage space and the joinery functions as a department segmentation. To encourage brains-storming and collaborative interaction, the sliding doors to the pantry and surau also function as writing glass. Parts of the studio wall are painted with custom dry-erase whiteboard paint – where sketches, notes and drawings can be thrown up to generate ideas and feedback. Sensitivity to acoustic needs is also one of the key aspects of SW1’s new office. The collapsible walls in the meeting rooms are treated to ensure privacy. Likewise, the quiet room in the staff pantry has thicker insulation in the drywall as well as a custom-made door with a drop seal. The intelligent design gels with the geomancy requirements as the studio is located at the space with the best chi (energy) flow. Advised by a Feng Shui master to locate the studio at “the heart of the space”, this ensures that the creative energy in this practice is always positive and free-flowing. Above all else, SW1 practices what it preaches. Their office design is a testament to the quality they bring to their clients. A big proponent of Activity Based Working solutions, SW1’s office is a perfect example of how collaboration and communication between team members can be facilitated by the interior design. Collaboration and inspiration do not just happen at the workstation – but at alternative spaces such as huddle rooms, pantry, quiet rooms to name a few. SW1’s new office has proven that a positive change to office design can contribute to increased productivity and an increase in working happiness.
TOP RIGHT: Whether working on the computer or sitting down for discussions - there are well-thought areas for every mode.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Excited anticipation greets the visitor the moment one steps foot into SW1’s domain.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Flexibility is the name of the game - big spaces or small, private retreats are possible with movable wall systems.
MAKING NEW CONNECTIONS AESTHETICIZING EFFICIENCY AND FUNCTIONALITY
MALAYSIA HUAWEI 040
“IN TERMS OF FUNCTIONALITY; THE OPERATIONAL SPACES WERE DESIGNED TO CREATE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE WORK FLOW – AND AT THE SAME TIME, ABLE TO CREATE A CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT ENCOURAGED INTERACTION AND COLLABORATION.”
THIS PICTURE: Clustering of people works well at Huawei as there is a lot of ‘huddling’ together for brainstorming activities and such.
uawei is already a major global player in the telecommunications and mobile device industry. Their products are always renowned for their functionality but in more recent time they are becoming known for their style too. With partners such as Porsche design and marketing campaigns featuring Hollywood stars like Scarlet Johansson and Henry Cavill, Huawei is obviously making a statement of intent. As such, Huawei’s Corporate Office needed to convey that same sense of functional aesthetic. Located at level 32, Integra Tower, The Intermark in central Kuala Lumpur; the office covers over 25,000 square feet and is able to accommodate over 250 people. SW1’s goal for the project was to create an engaging spatial experience for both visitors and staff – evocative of Huawei’s mobile devices. In terms of functionality; the operational spaces were designed to create efficient and effective work flow – and at the same time, able to create a conducive environment that encouraged interaction and collaboration. The entire design would effectively embody the art of balance between functionality and aesthetic experience. Although spaces are maximized for the sake of efficiency; the furniture layout allows the space and the users to breath. The clever planning ensures that each part of the public, semi-public and private spaces are able to carry out their functions but also having enough room for the users and the design to be expressive. In terms of the journey throughout Huawei’s office, the reception area is deceptively minimalist and understated. The muted expression relies on the ceiling design and material application to impress the visitor. And as quickly as one walks through the doors to the operational spaces, the language and environment transforms into an unforgettable experience. From the meeting rooms to breakout areas, the interior design injects vibrancy, warmth and character into the space. Wooden laminate floorings, timber furniture, warm lighting and natural elements populate each space – as it encourages the user to continue exploring each part of the office. The work spaces marry functionality with explosions of colour in the huddle spaces and interactive zones.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Sharing bench-type workstations further enhances the culture of working closely together.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Meetings come equipped with tech-laden rooms - reflecting the nature of their business.
The meeting rooms communicate the concept of balance through the professional layout and furniture – combined with warm and natural highlights to offset the edge. Managerial rooms exude a sense of calm and serenity; again due to the use of wooden highlights and furniture. Each room and space has its own character. Each application of colour, material and lighting has been carefully considered to maximise the utility of the space, the aesthetic appeal and its impact on the psyche of the users. But the distinctions of this project lie with the practical and health considerations of the space. The design and use of materials showed acoustic sensitivity to the users’ needs. Acoustic testing was conducted to see if the space could score a high STC (sound transmission class). The Internal Air Quality was of great importance – as paints with low volatile organic compound were used - and testing of this was conducted by an independent expert for one month. The journey that the user goes through this space will long stay in his or her memory as the design leaves and indelible impression as functionality, health and aesthetics are perfectly balanced.
TOP LEFT: Whether waiting or chatting, this corner with a view allows one to look outside from the inside.
BOTTOM LEFT: Cul-de-sacs present a great opportunity for meeting away from prying eyes.
THIS PICTURE: Minimalist but modern to the hilt. Top-of-the-line design is like fashion where ‘less is more’...
MALAYSIA BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 044
THE BEST OF BRITISH EDUCATION
THE BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL ENHANCES EDUCATION THROUGH CUTTING EDGE INTERIOR DESIGN
MALAYSIA BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 046
“THE RECEPTION AND LOUNGE AREA MANAGES TO SUBTLY EXPRESS THE SCHOOL COLOURS – AS WELL AS SHOWING A GOOD COMBINATION AND RESTRAINT WHEN PLAYING WITH THE FORMS AND SCHOOL CREST. THE COUNTER EASILY CATCHES THE EYES BUT THE MATERIAL APPLICATION MANAGES TO KEEP THE DESIGN IN-LINE WITH THE REST OF THE SPACE.”
TOP: This hub of activity at the reception area of the British International School harks back to the traditional English libraries but with a modernistic twist of space-age whites and modern furniture.
ou may be asking why a school is being featured in Office Concept magazine, but the ethos and thinking required in creating a school is remarkably similar in creating a modern and progressive office. We are in a unique period in modern day office culture and this is typified by most organisations having 4 different generations (from generation X onward) of people working in them all in different capacities. SW1 adopts campus like thinking into a lot of their modern offices which blur the lines between corporate and educational thinking and this in turn allows them to optimise the productivity of any organisation. So it is very appropriate for us to feature a school which can show what is driving modern day Office Concepts and how these concepts are derived. The British International School of Kuala Lumpur has become one of the most renowned private schools in this region. Offering contemporary British international education for children aged 2 – 17; they pride themselves of their personalised and holistic learning methods and environment. With a strong focus on personal development and nurturing a broad range of talents, from sports, music, arts, language and technology, SW1 had the honour of providing design solutions to their new block to meet these rigorous demands. The new academic block on the 6th and 7th floor will not only cater to their newly introduced secondary school, but also new facilities and amenities. Apart from ensuring the design was of international and contemporary standard, SW1 had to plan the layout for a whole host of new spaces – including the library and resource centre, ICT centre, gymnasium, new classrooms and a reception and lounge area. The reception and lounge area manages to subtly express the school colours – as well as showing a good combination and restraint when playing with the forms and school crest. The counter easily catches the eyes but the material application manages to keep the design in-line with the rest of the space. The loose furniture complements the room as well as making it warm and welcoming. The first impression is that of progressiveness mixed with the utmost consideration of human needs.
TOP RIGHT: Bright and spacious, this library is a far cry from the old crowded ones of old.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Acres of space at reading areas tend to help free the reader’s mind from clutter, initiating the thinking process and giving inspiration.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Modern to the point of it looking like a scene from a science fiction movie, garnering knowledge in this library is indeed a mind opening experience.
MALAYSIA BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 048 TOP LEFT: With modern furniture and plush carpeting, the games room is almost reminiscent of a yuppieâ€™s leisure pad.
MIDDLE LEFT: In the ICT Centre, one can imagine that they are on the bridge of a starship cruiser.
BOTTOM LEFT: The art room where new Picassos are born.
“CONNECTED TO THE LIBRARY IS THE CANTEEN – AGAIN, THIS SPACE ESPOUSES THE DESIGN DIRECTION FOR THE SCHOOL. FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE AND EFFICIENT USE OF SPACE IS WONDERFULLY MARRIED WITH CAREFUL THOUGHT FOR THE MATERIALS AND FINISHING.”
THIS PICTURE: Not your average school canteen, this cafeteria is on par with most professional establishments.
MALAYSIA BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL 050
“THE PERFORMANCE ROOM ON THE OTHER HAND SEEMS TO SIZZLE WITH ENERGY THROUGH THE LIGHTING AND CEILING DESIGN. THE LABS ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO EXPLORE AND EXPERIMENT; WHEREAS THE ICT CENTRES ARE EQUIPPED WITH THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE THE STUDENTS TO BE ONE STEP AHEAD OF THEIR PEERS..”
THIS PICTURE: From rock to baroque or West End staples, the auditorium will be packed to the brim on performance nights.
The library manages to remain energetic yet austere – helping students focus on their studies whilst encouraging contemplation and collaboration which is an environment when most knowledge can be retain. The tables and chairs are practical but never dull; the book shelves are classic yet contemporary; and the ceiling adds a new dimension to the character of the space. The discussion areas encourage open communication and collaboration – a new approach to the libraries of today. Connected to the library is the canteen – again, this space espouses the design direction for the school. Functional furniture and efficient use of space is wonderfully married with careful thought for the materials and finishing. The canteen exudes the vibe of a hipster café more than a traditional school canteen. As BISKL is all about fostering personal development in various fields, the art room, music room, performance room, science laboratories and ICT centres have their own distinct personality. The art room is minimal in approach – akin to a blank canvas whereby students can express their artistic side. The performance room on the other hand seems to sizzle with energy through the lighting and ceiling design. The labs encourage students to explore and experiment; whereas the ICT centres are equipped with the latest technology to enable the students to be one step ahead of their peers. Combined with the new gymnasium, the new addition to BISKL is sure to set the benchmark for private primary and secondary education in this region.
TOP: Throwing hoops or doing somersaults it’s the arena for the development of the next Olympians.
MIDDLE: A cheery and comfy sick bay will certainly lead to speedy recoveries for those feeling under the weather.
BOTTOM: Budding scientists looking for a place to develop their research skills? The British International School lab has just the right tools and ambiance.
ROCHEâ€™S NEW OFFICE ENCOURAGES COLLABORATION THROUGH CREATIVE PLANNING
ocated on Level 5 of The Pinnacle Sunway in Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Roche Malaysia’s new office for its Finance and Procurement Shared Service Centre represents the values of the company as well as a testament to its standing in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. SW1’s goal with this project was to dynamically alleviate the workflow of the Shared Service Centre with Activity Based Solutions (ABW). The office design would have to accommodate 246 employees – with a mixture of open floor concept and cubicle based workspace. There would be a healthy balance between public, semi-private and private spaces. The client also required conference rooms that can be easily converted into larger meeting rooms should the need arise. Roche’s corporate image and values are evident throughout the interior design of the office. Starting at the reception area, the Roche branding is subtle yet evident. Wall features remind guests of Roche’s role and heritage but instead of shouting out the brand, the goal here is to stress on Roche’s focus on human needs – with the warm and welcoming reception and waiting area. Wood textures and colours can be seen on reception desks, flooring for the waiting area and loose furniture. Seats are ergonomic and bright green and orange ottomans dot the lounge area; making guests feel immediately at home. The lounge area connects directly with the
TOP: A spaciously warm and welcoming reception area.
THIS PICTURE: The combination of wood, soft furnishings and sleek tiling thatâ€™s showered by indirect white light creates an irresistibly peaceful setting.
MALAYSIA ROCHE 056
“THE CORE OFFICE SPACES ARE EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY PLANNED – WITH CONTEMPORARY AND FUNCTIONAL OFFICE SYSTEMS INSTALLED TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY AND STAFF COMFORT. ROCHE’S CORPORATE IMAGE IS AGAIN SUBTLY APPLIED THROUGHOUT THE OPERATIONAL SPACE.”
TOP: All the ‘Jacks’ in the office are never dull - they have a fun place to chill-out when they need to recharge.
BOTTOM: White and pristine-looking, the pantry not only facilitates one’s hunger pangs but is most conducive for staff interaction.
“THE ABW SOLUTIONS CAN BE SEEN WITH THE DIVERSE APPLICATION OF FURNITURE – ENABLING EACH STAFF TO WORK IN THE WAY THAT SUITS THEM – WHETHER INDIVIDUALLY OR IN GROUPS.”
meeting rooms that have collapsible partitions that can be opened up to create a town hall environment. These spaces are connected by the pantry area – where the language of warmth and liveable atmosphere is sustained through the wooden flooring and built-ins. The natural lighting flooding in through the glazed openings further enhance the human experience throughout this social and collaborative space. The core office spaces are efficiently and effectively planned – with contemporary and functional office systems installed to increase productivity and staff comfort. Roche’s corporate image is again subtly applied throughout the operational space. The open floor plan for the employee works space encourages transparency and collaboration – cornerstones of Roche’s values. The work space has coloured highlights which keep the place lively and visually arresting without detracting the attention of each staff. The ABW solutions can be seen with the diverse application of furniture – enabling each staff to work in the way that suits them – whether individually or in groups. The private spaces accommodate the human resource department and key managerial rooms. The entire design further encourages collaboration through the creation of huddle spaces, social corners and the games room. A testament to Roche’s investment on human resource, the games room not only provides a space for the staff to relax and blow off steam but also acts as an informal space to brainstorm and share ideas. SW1’s design solution has elevated Roche Malaysia’s corporate office to the 21st Century. The interior design also provides a new approach to office layout; and with the ABW solution, creating happier and more productive employees.
TOP: 120° workstations improve the organic feel of the office space and gives more fluidity to the user.
MIDDLE: Workstations are strategically assembled to promote togetherness and idea-sharing among employees.
BOTTOM: The same clustering concept is applied to long-bench style desks.
PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST ALLIANZ’S NEW HQ EXEMPLIFIES THE COMPANY’S EMPHASIS ON CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
MALAYSIA ALLIANZ 060 TOP: Ultra-modern meeting room with pivoting doors mitigates the usual cold, unforgiving nature of serious discussions.
BOTTOM LEFT: The juxtaposition of the more formal meeting room at the far end and in the foreground, the more casual discussion high glass tables.
s a premier insurer in this country, Allianz Malaysia Berhad wanted to make a statement of intent with their new Head Office. Situated in NU Tower KL Sentral, this new establishment would communicate the core values of Allianz as well as setting a base of operations for greater expansion throughout this region. Covering two towers, 9 floors and over 116,000 square feet, Allianz’ new Head Office aims at not only creating a comfortable and conducive working environment, but to also provide optimum service to their clients. As the design consultant and project manager, SW1 designed the reception area and corporate entrance area to exude a high a level of professionalism combined with the warmth and personality of human interaction. Marble floors and polished steel finishes exemplify the strength and reliability of the company. The radiant, multi-coloured walls give the reception area character – enabling clients to feel more relaxed and receptive. As the highlight of the entire space, both client and employees who walk through this area will surely enter with a smile on their faces. The same consideration of warmth and vibrancy is ably translated to the working areas as well. Each floor in the Head Office is wonderfully colour-coded, denoting the roles and responsibilities of each department. The application of materials mirrors that of the corporate entrance and reception; whereby the selection exudes both professionalism and warmth. The corporate colours of Allianz are obvious throughout – with the carpet and wall highlights accentuating the various spaces. From the board room to the rest areas, Allianz’ values are steadfastly present. But apart from applying the obvious, warm tones are also applied via wood laminates on the floors, wall panels and built-ins. The warm lighting further enhances the comfortable mood and ambience of the work space. The aesthetics are well balanced with functionality – as the materials are also acoustically
TOP RIGHT: High-tech and trendy, the boardroom reflects the big business of Allianz’s operations.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Attendees of presentations have full view of the programme in the unobstructed layout of the hall.
MARBLE FLOORS AND POLISHED STEEL FINISHES EXEMPLIFY THE STRENGTH AND RELIABILITY OF THE COMPANY. THE RADIANT, MULTI-COLOURED WALLS GIVE THE RECEPTION AREA CHARACTER – ENABLING CLIENTS TO FEEL MORE RELAXED AND RECEPTIVE.
attuned to the needs of office use. To top it all off, the majority material and finishing adhere to the strict environmentally-friendly policies requested by the client. Breaking the mould of typical office designs, SW1’s solution for the layout called for something that is modular and organic. The client wanted to consolidate their offices – amalgamating various functions and activities into one space for greater efficiency and efficacy. This enabled the spaces to cater to various activities at the same time, creating a vibrant and synergistic workspace. The layout presents a myriad of opportunities for the client to shape and reshape their working environment as they see fit. There is also a great sense of inclusivity as employees with disabilities have accessibility throughout the floors and offices. The loose furniture enables employees to feel at home by giving them a sense of freedom in the arrangement of break-out areas. As the company continues to expand, the office design is more than able to accommodate any positive change.
TOP TO BOTTOM: The potentially ‘cold’ effect of steel and glass in the corridors softened by soothing colours.
“THE WARM LIGHTING FURTHER ENHANCES THE COMFORTABLE MOOD AND AMBIENCE OF THE WORK SPACE. THE AESTHETICS ARE WELL BALANCED WITH FUNCTIONALITY – AS THE MATERIALS ARE ALSO ACOUSTICALLY ATTUNED TO THE NEEDS OF OFFICE USE.”
THIS PICTURE: A fully functional pantry where meals can be enjoyed in an exuberant environment.
RELIVING THE ASTRAL PLANE
REGIMENTED FORMS MEET HUMAN WARMTH IN ASTRAZENECAâ€™S NEW HQ
he interior design for AstraZeneca Malaysia needed to reflect the pharmaceutical giant’s vision of innovation and customer-centred business approach. As a leader in biopharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca’s research-driven policies have seen the company achieve over $27 billion in healthcare sales. Their headquarters in Surian Tower, Mutiara Damansara reflects not only their status in the healthcare industry, but also their values in scientific development, focus on patience and their dynamic drive to succeed. As such, SW1 developed a concept whereby the spaces represent the Science Culture, Patient Focus, Agility, High Performance and Commitment evident within the company. This idea would inspire not only the staff of AstraZeneca, but prospective clients and customers would be buoyed by their values and image. The clean reception area epitomises the clinical and scientific ethos of the company. Minimal in design, it nonetheless leaves an impact with guests and visitors. Polished floor tiles and chrome finish are accentuated by subtle lighting which highlights the form of the reception area as well as the AstraZeneca logo. SW1’s intelligent use of natural lighting manages to create a warm and welcoming interior – offsetting the misconception of healthcare companies being cold and clinical. That element of warmth is enhanced with the use of neutral and natural tones for the floor finishing and soft furnishings of key spaces. As natural light floods into the work space, it inspires the staff to greater heights and dynamism by giving them visual connection with the natural outside world.
MIDDLE RIGHT: Sitting together in clusters improves cohesion and collaboration amongst staff.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Organic workstations and discussion areas is only part of the activitybased workspace design philosophy advocated by SW1.
“THE CLEVER SPACE PLANNING AND USE OF PORTIONING SYSTEMS ENABLE THE SEMIPUBLIC AND PUBLIC DOMAINS TO INTERACT SEAMLESSLY. THIS GIVES BOTH DOMAINS A SENSE OF PRIVACY AND TRANSPARENCY IF AND WHEN NEEDED. THE WORK SPACES ARE EFFICIENTLY DESIGNED WITH COLLAPSIBLE WALLS AND 120° WORKSTATIONS AND IDEAL FOR FUTURE GROWTH.”
THIS PICTURE: Relaxing casual areas such as shown in this picture fosters more unfettered discussion.
MALAYSIA ASTRAZENECA 068 TOP: Collaborative social hub where simple conversations can lead to eureka moments.
BOTTOM RIGHT: A wider shot of the hub with a variety of seating configurations.
Natural light is also evident in AstraZeneca’s revolutionary “Business Garden” – a place where the AstraZeneca team can consult, communicate and collaborate with clients and partners in a relaxed and inspiring environment. The clever space planning and use of portioning systems enable the semi-public and public domains to interact seamlessly. This gives both domains a sense of privacy and transparency if and when needed. The work spaces are efficiently designed with collapsible walls and 120° workstations and ideal for future growth. The space planning of key spaces for staff and management also exhibit the same clever planning and design. Each space exuded a high level of professionalism and sophistication – but never sacrificing the warmth and dynamism inherent in the company. This is obvious in the breakout spaces, interactive domains and work spaces – where vibrant furniture, warm tones, eyecatching details and use of natural and artificial lighting create a space that is primed for excellence and success.
“NATURAL LIGHT IS ALSO EVIDENT IN ASTRAZENECA’S REVOLUTIONARY “BUSINESS GARDEN” – A PLACE WHERE THE ASTRAZENECA TEAM CAN CONSULT, COMMUNICATE AND COLLABORATE WITH CLIENTS AND PARTNERS IN A RELAXED AND INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT.”
TOP RIGHT: Informal space with a view that is the centre for active chatter.
MIDDLE RIGHT: When talk gets more serious, parties can move into the adjoining meeting room with a simple slide of the modular wall.
LLOYDâ€™S REGISTER MALAYSIA
TRADITION TRANSFORMED A COMPANY STEEPED IN HISTORY GETS A REVOLUTIONARY FACELIFT
loyd’s Register is one of UK’s oldest companies. With its storied history and influence in various sectors and industries; SW1’s goal was to articulate the client’s values in innovation, quality, collaboration, performance, courage and integrity. As a branch of Lloyd’s Register, Lloyd’s Register of Shipping Malaysia is tasked with upholding these values as a solutions provider in the energy sector. Located at level 28, Naza Tower at Platinum Park in Kuala Lumpur, the 14,600 square feet site meant to accommodate 123 members of staff and management posed some spatial challenges. These challenges gave rise to opportunities. As design consultants, SW1 took the opportunity to create spaces that would be dynamic, informative and creative; as well as encourage collaboration between all levels of the team. The spaces are bursting with positive energy as it endeavours to break down the typical boundaries in traditional office design – as well as altering the ways offices of old function and operate. SW1 and Lloyd’s Register of Shipping were also conscious of integrating local culture into the interior design. This is most evident in the material application seen in the reception and lounge area. Both spaces manages to communicate the corporate image through its use of marble and steel – but it is the application of wood and warm tones that implies that this office is located in Malaysia. Visitors, both local and foreign, will feel completely at ease with the sense of familiarity. The warm and natural tones seen in the lighting, furniture and flooring in the lounge area will also afford the members of staff to feel relaxed – both in formal and informal situations. The design also celebrates the beautiful natural lighting of Malaysia, ensuring that openings are maximised and light permeates throughout the space. This sense of light and transparency enhances the quality and productivity – as well as fostering the idea of collaboration between team members as there are little to no partitions between sections of the space. Lloyd’s Register of Shipping Malaysia was adamant that the office design be progressive – rejecting the
TOP: Multiple usage - Lloyd’s pantry functions not only as a place to eat but also as a social area, collaborative work space, hotdesking, etc.
MIDDLE: No partitions translates to less working in silos and to a more collaborative work culture.
“THE SPACES ARE BURSTING WITH POSITIVE ENERGY AS IT ENDEAVOURS TO BREAK DOWN THE TYPICAL BOUNDARIES IN TRADITIONAL OFFICE DESIGN – AS WELL AS ALTERING THE WAYS OFFICES OF OLD FUNCTION AND OPERATE.”
TOP: Open concepts especially at social areas gives the feeling of spaciousness.
BOTTOM: A fluid and transparent reception shows that revolutionary companies these days do not operate as a closed, secretive fortress.
MALAYSIA LLOYD’S REGISTER 074
“THE OPERATIONAL AREA IS DESIGNED FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF USERS, NO CUBICLES, NO COMPARTMENTALISATION AND FREEDOM TO MOVE AND INTERACT.”
THIS PICTURE: When there is a need for a little privacy in this largely open office, staff can step into the many discussion rooms.
traditional notions of work and office design. The client conducted a survey with the staff to get fresh ideas and suggestions for improving productivity. SW1 and the client introduced the concept of “hot-desking” – where people did not have permanent workstations and could therefore work at where they need or want in clusters throughout the office. The operational area is designed for different types of users, no cubicles, no compartmentalisation and freedom to move and interact. The office systems were changed from traditional work benches to those of adjustable height – enabling workers to work in ways that are comfortable to them – are seamlessly married with the IT and M&E systems in order to achieve the goal of enhancing productivity through technology and human interaction. Even the managerial rooms and meeting rooms convey the idea of transparency and collaboration. The judicious use of glazed partitions not only allows natural light to flow throughout, but also attempts to inform each team member that there are no barriers between them, creating an office and work culture that is progressive and holistic.
TOP: Conference room and breakout area is designed to be next to each other.
MIDDLE: When hosting functions or long meetings, the operable wall separating the conference room and breakout area can be opened to become a seamless open space.
CUSTOMISATION AND CONNECTIVITY
IMBUING MCGRAW-HILLâ€™S BRAND IDENTITY WITH EFFICIENT SPACES
MALAYSIA MCGRAW-HILL 078
“AS MCGRAW-HILL EDUCATION BELIEVES THAT THE SCIENCE OF TEACHING CAN UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL OF EVERY LEARNER, THE SPATIAL PLANNING AND INTERIOR DESIGN NEEDED TO REFLECT A SENSE OF PRACTICALITY AND QUALITY.”
TOP: ’Clustering’ on shared benches promotes more interaction and more informed employees.
BOTTOM: The touchdown area doubles as the staff lounge for a deliberately informal vibe.
s one of the most established publishers of education content, the office for McGraw-Hill Education here in Malaysia needed to express a high level of professionalism and sophistication. Located at level 3 Menara LGB in Kuala Lumpur, McGraw-Hill Education wanted an office that was both efficient as well as inspiring. To achieve this, SW1 was conscientious in highlighting the company’s famous logo – a symbol of quality education. As McGraw-Hill Education believes that the science of teaching can unlock the potential of every learner, the spatial planning and interior design needed to reflect a sense of practicality and quality. Due to the relative size of the site, the planning had to be efficient but at the same time, having enough character to be evocative of the values McGraw-Hill Education uphold. Key spaces such as the meeting room, breakout area and operational space are tied together by the use of the corporate colour in highlight elements. In the breakout area, the red light fixture ties the open room together – creating a focal point for any informal gathering. Red chairs are peppered throughout the space to create a consistent design language – and the use of warm colours and wooden furniture and finishing further complements the design apart from adding more of a human touch to the office space. Each material and furniture was carefully considered for superior comfort and aesthetic appeal. The same approach is brought into the meeting room as well – with red being the focal point and connective element throughout. This formal space has a sleek and professional ambience – which is wonderfully counterbalanced with the aforementioned warm and wood-tone finishing. The operational space is efficiently planned – with the furniture and office systems laid out to maximise the use of space and the comfort of the team. The sleek and clinical design is punctuated by splashes of red on the desk partitions and furniture. The managerial space follows the same design language – as wood and wooden furniture is used to add highlight and character – as well as mellowing the often severe tone of most offices. This clean and minimalist look emphasises the level of professionalism of the company and serves to reinforce the strong brand identity inherent within its history.
MIDDLE: Mixed seatings eschews rigidity in the conference room.
BOTTOM: The GM’s room provides confidentiality whilst still exuding transparency.
HUMANISING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY
MEDTRONIC NOT ONLY LEADS IN TECHNOLOGY BUT HUMAN WELFARE
MALAYSIA MEDTRONIC 082 TOP: Medtronicâ€™s reception exudes sophistication and symmetry
BOTTOM: Switching from keyboard-pounding mode to discussion mode is encouraged with discussion areas placed next to workstations.
“SINCE MEDTRONIC HAS A SLEEK AND PROFESSIONAL IMAGE, THE INTERIORS OF THE OFFICE WILL BE AS EQUALLY CONTEMPORARY AND STREAMLINED. INFUSED WITH THIS, MEDTRONIC’S VISION OF OFFERING A HUMAN TOUCH TO THEIR TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES WILL BE EXPRESSED THROUGH THE WARM AND LIVEABLE ATMOSPHERE WITHIN THE OFFICES.”
s a leader in medical technology, services and solutions, it was important for the corporate design to reflect Medtronic International Limited’s distinctive standing and progressive outlook. Set to be situated on Level 23 of The Ascent@Paradigm, SW1’s design was to integrate an Activity Based Working (ABW) solution for the corporate design. As Medtronic’s office will take the entirety of Level 23, SW1 had ample space to express the client’s vision, needs and branding. The 18,500 square feet accommodates 4 director rooms, 1 private office, 2 large multi-purpose rooms, 52 executives, a sales department with 104 sales representatives “hotdesking” 21 workstations between them; and a reception area amongst other core spaces. Since Medtronic has a sleek and professional image, the interiors of the office will be as equally contemporary and streamlined. Infused with this, Medtronic’s vision of offering a human touch to their technology and services will be expressed through the warm and liveable atmosphere within the offices. The reception area highlights this idea through the clean and sleek counter – whereby guests are immediately greeted with the familiarity of
MIDDLE RIGHT: Informal R&R areas dot the entire office, providing staff with a less regimented environment.
Medtronic’s corporate image. Cool greys in furnishing and materials offset the white and blue logo; as the lighting further enhances the professional ambience. But as guests move to the pantry and discussion area, the warmth of that liveable atmosphere is evident with the wooden floor finish, ergonomic furniture and fusion of natural and artificial lighting. The full height glass façade opens up the PJ skyline for both workers and guests – giving them a relaxing and infinite view of their surroundings. This open skyline goes along the outer perimeter of the office and each space is given ample natural lighting and an unmatched view of PJ. This serves to inspire the workforce as it breaks the monotony of typical office spaces – as well as enhancing the ABW solution through the use of natural lighting. The workspace has ergonomic furniture perfect for “hot-desking”; creating a lively, contemporary and progressive working environment. The multi-purpose rooms also enjoy the wonderful influx of natural lighting – further complemented by the bright furniture. The 2 multi-purpose rooms have flexible partitions – enabling them to be opened up should the need for a bigger room arise. Other meeting rooms are also dotted with vibrant colours through wall features, furniture and lighting to enhance the liveable atmosphere idea – creating work spaces that feel human and thus improving productivity. After all, the chief concern is about communicating the ethos of Medtronic to both worker and guest.
TOP: A vibrant and spacious meeting room enhances productive discussions.
MIDDLE: It is never dull in an office that practices hot-desking as employees have the flexibility to move around and work in various teams depending on the tasks to be done.
BOTTOM: Operable walls maximises real estate space and provides flexibility to convert training rooms according to capacity needs.
“THE WORKSPACE HAS ERGONOMIC FURNITURE PERFECT FOR “HOTDESKING”; CREATING A LIVELY, CONTEMPORARY AND PROGRESSIVE WORKING ENVIRONMENT.”
THIS PICTURE: Staff breakout area cum pantry has lots of space and natural light.
MALAYSIA ASIAN BANKING SCHOOL 086
BEST PRACTICES ASIAN BANKING SCHOOLâ€™S CAMPUS RADIATES DEPENDABILITY AND INTEGRITY
ASIAN BANKING SCHOOL
et to be the premier banking school in the region, Asian Banking School’s new campus in Nu Sentral Kuala Lumpur redefines higher and professional education. Located on the 11th floor of Tower 2, the school and corporate office cover over 12,000 square feet. Able to house 48 members of staff and 120 students, the Asian Banking School meeting rooms, training rooms, operational spaces and support amenities for both staff and student. SW1’s objective for the client was to reflect the school’s international educational standing. The spaces would convey the message of knowledge, power, integrity and commitment to trainees, staff and management team – pulling all parties into the light of success. The Corporate Training Centre exudes strength, trust and reliability – foundations for a successful education institution and the characteristics identifiable to all students of Asian Banking School. The design approach to the aesthetics reflects this idea. A mixture of subtle, literal and abstract use of Asian Banking School’s corporate colours can clearly be seen throughout the school; especially at the reception and semi-public spaces. These colours are wonderfully integrated with materials that emanate different but complementing vibes through the application of stainless steel and timber. These materials further reiterate the school’s values of strength, integrity, trust and reliability.
TOP: A cosy corner pantry that’s great for a temporary respite.
BOTTOM: There’s no shortage of places to have a coffee and casual chats in this office.
“A MIXTURE OF SUBTLE, LITERAL AND ABSTRACT USE OF ASIAN BANKING SCHOOL’S CORPORATE COLOURS CAN CLEARLY BE SEEN THROUGHOUT THE SCHOOL; ESPECIALLY AT THE RECEPTION AND SEMI-PUBLIC SPACES. THESE COLOURS ARE WONDERFULLY INTEGRATED WITH MATERIALS THAT EMANATE DIFFERENT BUT COMPLEMENTING VIBES THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF STAINLESS STEEL AND TIMBER.”
THIS PICTURE: The reception is minimalist with linear lines radiating a straight and sure direction, in line with the Company’s maxim.
MALAYSIA ASIAN BANKING SCHOOL 090
“THE FURNITURE LAYOUT FEELS NATURAL WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ENSURING EFFICIENT USE OF SPACE. THE CLEAR DELINEATION BETWEEN THE SEMI-PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPACE GIVE THE SCHOOL A WELL DEFINED FLOW – AS WELL AS EXUDING AN AIR OF PROFESSIONALISM.”
THIS PICTURE: Odd-shaped spaces are cleverly used to take advantage of every space and crevice whilst harnessing natural light.
Combined with the influx of natural lighting into the office interiors as well as the training rooms, the environment is that warmth and openness. This creates an office and learning environment that exudes positive energy and inspirational mood. And by incorporating high technology such as electronic interactive wall, AV systems and other ICT support facilities, Asian Banking School can lay claim to being one of the most progressive schools in the region. The spatial planning complements the architecture of the building by optimizing the curvature and the glazed openings afforded by the site. The furniture layout feels natural while at the same time ensuring efficient use of space. The clear delineation between the semi-public and private space give the school a well defined flow – as well as exuding an air of professionalism. This planning also provides ample opportunity for future growth and expansion. The classrooms and training centres have flexible configurations – and the collapsible partitions enable the rooms to be opened up to cater to different needs and functions. But above all else, the interior planning fosters collaboration and interaction between students, staff and management. Social spaces and breakout areas ensure that there will always be a strong communal learning atmosphere here in the school. Both the aesthetics and the planning perfectly symbolise and communicate the values that the Asian Banking School wishes to impart on its students – that knowledge, power and integrity come from the strength and reliability of any institution.
TOP: Classrooms are modular for flexible seating arrangements.
MIDDLE: Open plan with sleek functional workstations.
BOTTOM: Meeting rooms featuring ergonomic chairs with fresh colours adds a subtle element of fun.
MALAYSIA SW1 AWARDS
A CREATIVE FORCE PRIVILEGED TO BE RECOGNISED BY LEADING INDUSTRY EXPERTS TO CELEBRATE SW1â€™S DESIGN EXCELLENCE
ince its inception, SW1 has achieved numerous awards for several of its most established projects. For three (3) years in a row since 2014, they were privileged with accomplishing Best Office Interior and Highly Commended Office Interior in Malaysia by the Asia Pacific Property Awards. In 2016, SW1 ventured to new heights and competed in a more global scale by participating in the prestigious Society of British International Design (SBID) Awards. With participation coming in from acclaimed international design firms like ICHIBANSEN and Beyond Design Architects, SW1 was shortlisted to be a finalist in the Public Space Design category; an achievement of its own which was beyond their wildest expectations.
SHANTHI KANDIAH CHAMBERS This boutique legal firm deals with high-end net worth Clientele - individuals as well Corporate. SW1 needed to ensure absolute confidentiality of the Clients as well as provide convenient and extensive production, support and library facilities. The goal was to create an engaging journey through the space as well as an experience that imbued a unique modern, lofty, eclectic identity which reflected the personality of the two senior partners whilst taking cue from a Barristers Chambers. The final result is greater than the sum of all its parts creating a functional office which not only provides for all the needs of the firmâ€™s Partners and Associates but which also exudes the character, work ethic and culture of its eponymous founder and dynamic associates.
TRADEWINDS CORPORATION Tradewinds had a very eclectic taste for the modern and European classics. Through an extensive design development process, SW1 was able to create a look and feel that was a marriage of the classical with the functional contemporary. By infusing European collectibles such as clock, telescope and artifacts into the entire space, the marriage of the design concept symbolizes Tradewindsâ€™ bond to each of its varied businesses throughout the world. SW1 developed the brief with absolute integrity to the Clientâ€™s objectives. The process really added value to help them revamp and solidify their brand and also added a personality which in turn gave them the opportunity to make a unique statement in the industry.
MAYBANK ACADEMY The Maybank Academy Learning Center is a sprawling multi-use development which includes extensive training, hotel, dining as well as a full sports complex including football pitch, athletics track, swimming pool and stadium. It is used by Maybank (the largest Bank in Malaysia) to promote, train and create a culture of excellence. In essence the Client needed to completely refresh and rebrand the entire facility for a very (very) limited budget. After an exhaustive survey SW1 narrowed down the areas to be redesigned by focusing on the key touching points that users of the space spend most of their time. The end result of the design concept not only refreshed a tired and old looking interior but also showcased the more modern, fresher identity of Maybank. The surrounding was not touched but the new design perfectly complimented the existing and thus a cohesive and controlled experience for all who enter was created.
FOURWINDS PROJECT DEVELOPMENT The FourWinds Group of Companies, a subsidiary of international firm THARWA Investments, established FourWinds Project Development (FWPD) to become a premier development company specialising in the industrial, infrastructure and real estate sectors in the region. Portraying an elegant yet robust persona, the design of the office provides seamless continuity between public spaces whilst at the same time preserves the privacy of working areas and the management suite. A blend of modern, contemporary and classical cues are used to complement the architecture of the building, in itself an exemplary feat of innovation and creativity. The end result, a truly remarkable working space which exudes professionalism and elegance. The final result is a premium office truly unlike any other in terms of aesthetic theme, efficiency and business fluidity. An award-winning project which offers visiting business associates and potential clients an immediate visual sense of the professionalism, intelligence and premium quality of the FourWinds team.
AMERICAN MULTINATIONAL BANKING & FINANCIAL SERVICES SW1â€™s immediate design direction was to ensure the Clientsâ€™ positions were reflected as a Leader in Investment Banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. This was a conservative American Bank but the essence of their highly distinguishable brand needed to be creatively expressed into every key aspect of their office design and to be interpreted in a contemporary manner. Aesthetically, SW1 took a contemporary approach which best suited their conservative and corporate nature. Colours and whilst knowing finishes would need to be very well controlled, a visual punch was added to exude vibrance within the office space. SW1 had to also ensure that the LEED Platinum status is achieved. This office was one of the first projects to achieve such status which is a rare achievement not only in an Asian (especially Malaysian!) context but in the world too.
RANJIT SINGH & YEOH ADVOCATES & SOLICITORS The two main protagonists (Ranjit & Yeoh) are classically trained Malaysian barristers called to the English Bar. SW1 received a very interesting brief, which is best summarised as follows: â€œA modern interpretation of a Traditional Barristers Chambers with a Malaysian twistâ€? The brief was further refined to use the space to reflect the delightfully eclectic tastes and unique working style of the Partners, and use this to create a visually arresting yet functional space. SW1 created a space that is deliberately innovative, inviting and welcoming to clients whilst being environmental friendly, positive and efficient to staff. The process really added value to help them make efficient like they never were before and also added a personality which in turn gave them opportunity to make a unique statement in the industry. Modern materials were so well-matched with traditional elements and the project truly typified Malaysia. A mix of cultures, a mix of old & new heritages, a mix of races, a colonial past.
LINQ by Girsberger
FITTING INTERIORS OFFICE CONCEPT
FITTING INTERIORS DISCOVER THE RIGHT FIT & BALANCE WITH CAREFUL MATERIAL SELECTION
HERMAN MILLER | AERON SCHIAVELLO | CASE STUDY - LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA GIRSBERGER | LINQ BENE | SETTLE KOKUYO | INTERVAL OASIS | OFFICE FURNITURE INTERFACE | CASE STUDY NIMBUS | ACOUSTICS PANELS
SCHIAVELLO CASE STUDY - LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA 104
MANIFEST A SENSE OF TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE
LONELY PLANET, THE WORLD’S LEADING TRAVEL MEDIA COMPANY, HAS TAKEN UP RESIDENCY AT THE HERITAGE-LISTED ‘THE MALT STORE’ IN CARLTON, MELBOURNE.
THIS PICTURE: The multi-purpose Marina fold table resides in Japan inspired meeting rooms.
THIS PICTURE: Arrivals and departures lobby.
CASE STUDY - LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA SCHIAVELLO
aking inspiration from Lonely Planet’s belief that, ‘the thrill of discovery can be found almost everywhere,’ Siren Design manifested the notion of travel and adventure within the built environment whilst promoting maximum connectivity, efficiency and equitability amongst staff. The journey-centred concept begins with an arrivals and departures lobby, before an around-the-world adventure takes staff and visitors to destination zones spanning the tropical jungles of Borneo to the glacial landscapes of Iceland. In addition, there are breakout spaces inspired by Melbourne’s café laneway culture, a library, and a retail store which is open to the general public. Detailed in both design and execution, each space fosters an immersive and inspirational experience. One can have a meeting in ‘Morocco’ with custom-designed Marina meeting tables, or travel next door to ‘Iceland’, where tables are finished in frosty white Baresque light blocks. Open-plan workstation spaces are reflective of New York, where Krossi workstations are powder-coated in yellow to reference Big Apple taxis and to support future growth. The design is also driven by sustainability. Reclaimed and recycled materials feature heavily throughout, and Marina folds tables have been customised with timber in boardrooms inspired by the traditional architecture of the Edo period in Japan. Of the new workspace Lonely Planet CEO Daniel Houghton says, “We are excited that our team in Australia, who are so pivotal to many aspects of Lonely Planet’s business, have a workspace that allows effective and enjoyable working, and reflects our brand heritage and passion for travel.” SCHIAVELLO.COM
TOP & MIDDLE: Powder coated in yellow, Krossi workstations reflect the Big Apple taxis of New York.
BOTTOM: Marina fold tables inspired by the traditional architecture of the Edo period in Japan.
SCHIAVELLO CASE STUDY - LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA PROJECT DETAILS
LOCATION: Levels 2 & 3/551 Swanston Street, Carlton, Australia AREA: 1460sqm DURATION: 3 weeks PROJECT TYPE: Workstations PROJECT MANAGER: Client Based Solutions ARCHITECT/DESIGNER: Siren Design BUILDER: Capabuild COMPLETED: May 2016 PRODUCTS: Krossi workstations, System 30, Transom mount shelf, Lettric softwiring, CPU holder, Marina Fold table, Humanscale M2 monitor arm, custom Marina meeting tables, MAP Rio Chair.
TOP & MIDDLE: Table by Schiavello.
THIS PICTURE: Krossi workstation featuring Systems 30 panels
HERMAN MILLER AERON 110
MOVING WITH THE TIMES THANKS TO AN EXCITING NEW UPDATE, THE AERON CHAIR CONTINUES ITS REIGN AS A SHINING EXAMPLE OF CUTTING EDGE FUNCTIONALITY.
THIS PICTURE: Allowing for a wider range of postures, the new edition of the Aeron chair promotes movement and ongoing ergonomic support.
HERMAN MILLER AERON
f there’s something that Herman Miller knows how to do well, it’s office chair designs that stand the test of time. The global design manufacturer proves this point with the Aeron chair, one of the brand’s most popular products. Launched back in 1994, the original chair quickly set itself apart from run-of-the-mill sit and swivel counterparts. Exemplary of Herman Miller’s prowess for merging innovative technology and materials, Aeron’s human-centric design sparked a fast and loyal following worldwide, making it the best-selling and most recognisable performance chair of all time. A recent revamp by designers Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick takes the iconic chair’s already noteworthy qualities to another level. Informed by the latest insights in anthropometrics and ergonomics and advanced technology, the new and improved Aeron encompasses the best of the best, allowing for better adjustment capabilities, intuitive controls, enhanced aeration and
LEFT: The newly updated Aeron comes with improved user adjustments for intuitive fine-tuning, allowing for further personalisation.
MIDDLE: Expounding its belief that one size does not fit all, Herman Miller now offers Aeron in three different sizes to accommodate a wider range of body types.
above and beyond, a healthier, more comfortable sit-down. Fundamental to the chair’s enhanced framework are three key components: a re-engineered, slimmer tilt mechanism for more seamless movement and achieving a wider range of postures; adjustable PostureFit SLTM spinal support, which, in addition to sustaining the pelvis in its natural-forward tilt position, incorporates sacral lumbar support; and the 8Z Pellicle TM zoned suspension, which gives rise to a healthy seated posture, owing to targeted zones that embrace the body with respect to areas that require the most support. In short, the sitter – not just the chair - is given an audible boost, making the Aeron an overhaul in every sense of the word. HERMANMILLER.COM/ASIA
RIGHT: Providing enhanced support and flexibility, Aeron’s remastered structure was designed with long-term comfort seamless movement in mind.
A CHAIR THAT STANDS APART
THIS PICTURE: Ergonomic functionality, versatility and a simple-and-neutral aesthetic make the Linq swivel chair a practical seating solution for the conference room.
FORM AND FUNCTION COME TOGETHER IN THE LINQ TO CREATE A SIMPLE YET SOPHISTICATED SWIVEL CHAIR.
GIRSBERGER LINQ 116
THIS PICTURE: Available in four versions, each with a different combination of mesh and cushioning on the backrest and seat, the Linq features a specially-developed 3D-weave mesh which is available in a variety of colours.
he German furniture maker Girsberger has come out with a swivel chair that you don’t have to work hard to get it comfortable. Designed by British-born Jonathan Prestwich, who is a big believer in melding inspiration from nature with ultra-modern technology to create simple, elegant and innovative products, the Linq embodies two ideas: First, that a chair moves effortlessly with the body, and second, that the chair should primarily hold the user’s weight and body and embrace the back like a second skin. While many ergonomically-designed office chairs have a full complement of knobs and levers -- to adjust the seat height, recline of the backrest, height of the armrests, the headrest and so on -- the Linq chair features an integrative aluminium support which connects the base and the seat shell while its ends form the armrests. And thanks to an innovative kinematic mechanism that is fully integrated into the seat shell and invisible from the outside, the user can easily lean back, significantly improving sitting comfort which is ideal for prolonged meetings. Better yet, the Linq adapts to the user’s body weight and regulates the resistance of the backrest accordingly, sans adjustments. The seat is padded and expansive, and the 3D mesh back is giving, yet supportive. The arms are connected to the chair behind the sitter, so they don’t block the sitter’s thigh should he or she decides to swing it over the side. And chalk up another pro for the Linq: It is elegant and visually light -- qualities that derive from the Y-formed structure of its aluminium support and streamlined proportions. Ideal for shared and team workstations, the Linq is available in the classic five-prong base for ergonomic stability, or as a conference swivel chair with a four-prong base. The chair comes in four versions, each with a different combination of weave mesh -- available in a variety of colours -- and cushioning on the backrest and seat. GIRSBERGER.COM
TOP RIGHT: Linq swivel chair with a five-prong base for shared and team workstations.
BOTTOM RIGHT: No adjustments are needed as the kinetic mechanism automatically adjusts to the weight of the sitter and regulates the resistance of the backrest accordingly.
THIS PICTURE: SETTLEâ€™s all-encompassing arrangement and friendly demeanour gives rise to warmth and inspiration at the workplace.
AT HOME OR AT WORK, NOTHING BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER BETTER THAN GREAT CONVERSATION AND A COZY COMMUNAL NOOK. MODERN, TECH-FRIENDLY AND VERSATILE, THE SETTLE SEATING SYSTEM OFFERS A MORE PROGRESSIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THAT LONELY OFFICE CUBICLE.
BENE SETTLE 120
“A HIGH BACKREST PROVIDES PRIVACY AND ACOUSTIC PROTECTION, WHILE AN INTEGRATED PLUG BOARD ENABLES SMALL GROUPS TO WORK WITH ELECTRONIC MEDIA. A TABLE FITTED TO THE REAR OFFERS SPACE TO WORK FROM.”
THIS PICTURE: Mindful of office environments in flux, the seating solution accommodates all manner of add-ons, including corner elements, pillow rolls and rear table fitted next to the back panel.
o say that the global face of work has undergone a dramatic change in the past years is an understatement. Once considered anathema to office culture, the notion of play and out of the box thinking is, in contrast, almost fundamental to the modern workplace these days. Unshackled from their physical desks, staffers effortlessly accomplish their tasks on the go, thanks to virtual and increasingly fluid workflows. Furniture manufacturers have dutifully heeded this call, producing a mounting collection of smartly designed pieces that better facilitate collaboration and communication in offices. Joining the ranks is Bene. Headquartered in Austria, the office furniture specialist has struck gold with SETTLE, a multifunctional seating system that feels as good as it looks. Composed of soft, pliable forms and high-quality materials, this beautifully contoured arrangement by PearsonLloyd was designed explicitly for comfort and creative thinking. Featuring unobtrusive sled-base frames, slim back panels as well as brightly hued upholstery, the arrangement lends well to an unintimidating, inspiring work atmosphere by functioning as a happy hub of activity for staffers. Adaptability is one of SETTLE’s key selling points; with a plethora of different settings on offer, the modular design is equipped to accommodate any situation, be it communal or individual work areas or meeting and waiting spaces. Incorporating two- and three-seater units, its standard components can be further enhanced with corner elements, armrests and even an optional high back-rest that blocks out visual and acoustic distractions. True to SETTLE’s multi faceted nature, the arrangement is also perfectly compatible with other Bene product lines. Workers inseparable with their tech will surely find solace in SETTLE’S integrated powerbox, which connects to networks, allowing for extended hours of multimedia productivity. BENE.COM
KOKUYO INTERVAL 122 THIS PICTURE: Interval, as this snug sofa-desk ensemble is called, can serve as a reading corner or a quiet spot for a coffee break.
HOT SEAT THE NEED FOR BOTH PRIVACY AND ENGAGEMENT IS REALIZED IN THE INTERVAL, WHERE USERS CAN EXPECT TO BE BLISSFULLY COCOONED BUT YET VISUALLY CONNECTED.
BOTTOM: A diagonal profile on one side creates a gentle connection between the user and the surrounding office environment, and double ups as a divider between a private and a public zone.
okuyo, an Osaka-based company known for its office systems, has introduced a sofa-desk ensemble which is upending traditional notions of what office furniture should look like and how it should be used. The brainchild of Japanese furniture designer Takayoshi Kano, the aptly-dubbed Interval is uniquely suited for activity-based working where users are provided with a semi-private, relaxing space in which to focus on their work while still maintaining a connection with their surroundings. Fashioned as a semi-enclosed nook, the Interval can serve as a transient reading corner, a temporary resting place for a coffee break or simply a private spot to hunker down to do some individual work. With companies increasingly focusing on the predicament of how to help employees concentrate and get work done while also allowing for the significant benefits of an open and flexible office environment, including creativity, knowledge, teamwork and collaboration, the Interval is pitched as the answer to the new ways we work in a 21st century office. Indeed, this intuitive furniture piece is a recognition that employees work in different modes, and that staff can choose to work wherever they want. And unsurprisingly enough, when people are able to choose where to sit, they are inclined to organize their days more productively, which bodes well for workplace efficiency and performance. Featuring a spacious and deeply-padded seat with a lumbar cushion, the Interval also comes furnished with an L-shaped table outfitted with power and data access. While an enveloping back and side panel form a visual and acoustic enclosure, a diagonal profile on one side creates a gentle connection between the user and the surrounding office space, an interval or a divider of sorts between a private and a public zone. The legs and table of the Interval are made of two different types of timber, and the upholstery is offered in six colours.
BOTTOM LEFT: The Interval features an L-shaped table.
BOTTOM RIGHT: A lumbar cushion ups the feel-good factor while a pair of sockets ensures power and data connectivity.
“THE BRAINCHILD OF JAPANESE FURNITURE DESIGNER TAKAYOSHI KANO, THE APTLY-DUBBED INTERVAL IS UNIQUELY SUITED FOR ACTIVITY-BASED WORKING WHERE USERS ARE PROVIDED WITH A SEMI-PRIVATE, RELAXING SPACE IN WHICH TO FOCUS ON THEIR WORK WHILE STILL MAINTAINING A CONNECTION WITH THEIR SURROUNDINGS.”
THIS PICTURE: An enveloping panel offers visual and acoustic privacy, creating a quiet zone to retreat from ambient chatter or for contemplation and individual work.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE LIVEABLE OFFICE, THE MESSAGE IS HARD TO MISS: EMBRACE THE DIFFERENT WORK MODES IN THE WORKPLACE WHILE ENCOURAGING COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION AND CREATIVITY.
THIS PICTURE: The Liveable Office also features “The High Work” concept in its flexibleheight adjustable desk and sit to stand chair.
OASIS FURNITURE OFFICE FURNITURE 128 THIS PICTURE: Combining individual workstations, cozy colourful poufs as well as semi-enclosed seating nooks, The Liveable Office provide a dynamic office solution that encourages employees to find their own ideal spaces for getting work done.
ith the cost of real estate at a premium, and a continuing demand for the workplace to serve as a central place for collaboration, innovation, and creativity, office furniture manufacturer Oasis has rolled out yet another solution for creating a “collaborative workplace.” And if there’s one thing one can say about the Liveable Office is that it’s anything but isolating. A decidedly versatile furniture system, the Liveable Office is an assemblage of three different furniture set-ups: the Lolla collection of colourful poufs form a collaboration zone; the Privva offers a social zone with its semi-enclosed seating nooks; and the Infinito workstations enable employees to be focused but not to be isolated. Designed with the view that fewer desks and a smaller footprint – which helps ease the space crunch – would move people closer together, stimulating interaction between people in different groups, and sparking not just collaboration but innovation when people collide. In essence, the move to take people out of private offices, the better to improve employee performance and productivity. Easily configured in various permutations for different tasks and evolving teams, the very layout of the Liveable Office strongly recognizes that employees work in different modes, and should be provided a variety of spaces to accommodate different kinds of work and allow for both collaboration and individual focusing. And if you, like many others, worry you are sitting your life away, be comforted. Oasis, being a passionate proponent of standing while working and during meetings, has embedded the “High Work” concept into the flexible height adjustable sit-stand desk and Infinito sit-stand stool. While the Privva desk gets the occupant into the groove of standing up at various intervals throughout the day with little interruption or loss of concentration, the Infinito stool allows the sitter to perch “high” or stay at the same eye level with the person standing in front even while seated. Say goodbye to traditional cubicles and hello dynamic office. And there’s no question the Liveable Office looks positively more inviting than your average cubicle farm. OASIS.COM.MY
INTERFACE CASE STUDY - CITRIX SYSTEMS 130 THIS PICTURE: The variety of materials helps create collaborative areas within the contemporary interior design.
CREATIVE SPACES DIVERSITY IN CONTEMPORARY DESIGN ELEMENTS, INCLUDING THE USE OF INTERFACE’S NATURE-INSPIRED CARPETS HELPS CREATE A NATURAL, COLLABORATIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT AT CITRIX SYSTEMS’ NEW OFFICE IN CHINA. OFFICECONCEPT.ASIA
INTERFACE CASE STUDY - CITRIX SYSTEMS 132 TOP: Urban Retreat’s natural patterns help bring the outdoors in.
BOTTOM: Interface’s plush carpet design from the Human NatureTM Collection provides underfoot comfort whilst, adding to a cosy environment.
“ALL THE CARPETS SELECTED FOR THIS PROJECT WERE MANUFACTURED USING 100% NON-VIRGIN YARN, RECYCLED FROM FISHING NETS AND RECLAIMED CARPETS, SUPPORTING THE SUSTAINABLE THEME OF THE BUILDING, WHICH UTILISES SOLAR ENERGY AND NATURAL VENTILATION.”
THIS PICTURE: Transitional patterns of Interface’s Urban Retreat Collection create a grass-like pathway
INTERFACE CASE STUDY - CITRIX SYSTEMS
odern office design now takes inspiration from social spaces such as cafes, clubs and parks – places where chance meetings and open discussions happen naturally. In a work setting, these spaces help to flatten hierarchy and stimulate creativity and collaboration. Design firm Steven Leach & Associates (SL+A) based in Seoul, Korea, were briefed to create such a space for Citrix Systems’ new research and development centre in Nanjing, China. The variety of room types and requirements spread across different floors was an interesting challenge for SL+A. Their solution combines contemporary elements such as accent walls, colourful loose furniture, exposed concrete, brick, wood and metal finishes with Interface’s unique line of nature-inspired modular carpet to add fun and energy. In lounges and corridors, the transitional patterns of the Urban Retreat™ carpet collection were used to create a striking pathway with grass-like borders sitting in between soft gravel beiges, neatly complementing the tones of wood panelling and polished concrete. The Net Effect™ Collection – inspired by the interplay of the ocean and the shore – was used in training and conference rooms for a more subtle effect. All the carpets selected for this project were manufactured using 100% non-virgin yarn, recycled from fishing nets and reclaimed carpets, supporting the sustainable theme of the building, which utilises solar energy and natural ventilation. To maximise the use of space and promote collaboration, SL+A came up with the idea of transformable spaces. Larger areas that would otherwise be used infrequently have innovative retractable glass partitions, which allow smaller groups to utilise sections of the large rooms. The partitions provide privacy and reduce the need for meeting rooms of various sizes. As a leader in IT innovation and technology enterprises, Citrix’s new facility had to speak for itself and exude the character of a modern, collaborative business. SL+A have certainly helped deliver that trait in this new office, giving a long established company the fresh vibe of a startup.
THIS PICTURE: Subtle splashes colour from Interfaceâ€™s Duo & Trio carpet tiles blend playful with corporate.
NO PROBLEMS WITH CONCENTRATION FOR STAFF AT THE CALL CENTRE OF THE GOTHAER INSURANCE COMPANY IN COLOGNE â€“ THANKS TO ACOUSTICALLY EFFECTIVE PANELS FROM THE NIMBUS GROUP.
NIMBUS GROUP 136
TRANSLUCENT AND ACOUSTICALLY EFFECTIVE
THIS PICTURE: The Rossoacoustic TP30 room partitioning system provides ample opportunities for customising using fabric and colours. The featherweight panels can be installed and combined in any imaginable constellation without the use of tools; colours can be chosen to match the interior.
THIS PICTURE: The unobstructed passage of daylight and zoning by means of highly effective acoustic elements are not irreconcilable goals.
NIMBUS GROUP ACOUSTIC PANELS 138
oud communication is the norm at a call centre â€“ and the workplaces are usually in an open-plan office. That is also the case at the Gothaer insurance companyâ€™s offices in Cologne, which were designed by OCC Office Competence GmbH. However, the acoustics were significantly improved by Rossoacoustic panels, and reverberation times were carefully balanced out so the 90 or so employees can work efficiently and in a pleasant atmosphere. This solution does not obstruct the passage of natural daylight, and visual contact among the employees is maintained. The result is an acoustically pleasant, convivial and open working climate.
BOTTOM LEFT: Rossoacoustic CP30 is translucent and available in various versions
TOP: Despite the acoustic room partitioning, the overall impression is still one of an open and communicative room.
“WHEN YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORKING IN AN OFFICE, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR EMPLOYEES’ PERFORMANCE AS WELL AS FOR THEIR HEALTH TO KEEP THE NOISE LEVEL AS LOW AS POSSIBLE AND CREATIVE CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO CONCENTRATION.”
“When you have a number of people working in an office, it is important for employees’ performance as well as for their health to keep the noise level as low as possible and creative conditions conducive to concentration,” says Jens Victora, a specialist for room acoustics at Rosso. Moreover, there should be no long-term negative impacton sight lines or the light entering the office, but the workplaces should nevertheless be shielded from one another. Rosso, a brand belonging to the Nimbus Group from Stuttgart, has responded to this frequently recurring wish with the panels from the Rossoacoustic CP30 range: a translucent membrane body with a characteristic honeycomb structure. Thanks to its transparency, visual contact between employees can be maintained but, with the panels, the reverberation time is reduced due to the microperforations in the panel surface and sound is absorbed – a basic prerequisite for concentration and productive work. The microperforations that are so vital in achieving this acoustic effect were developed together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics especially for these purposes and fields of application. IDENTIFYING NEEDS USING SIMULATIONS OF THE ACOUSTIC CONDITIONS Acoustic measurements were made before planning for the call centre got underway. Rosso offers such measurements and carries them out if required. Holistic planning was possible right from the very beginning thanks to a thorough analysis of the acoustic conditions, which, under ideal circumstances, is how it should be. At 700 square metres, the size of the room was one critical parameter along with the acoustically hard surfaces such as the large windows and the concrete ceiling. The planning team determined a requirement for over 300 panels from the Rossoacoustic CP30 range and 100 panels from the Rossoacoustic TP30 range, the latter being fabric-covered room partitioning elements that are also acoustically effective. At 2000 hz, that is to say the level at which, on average, people hear very well, the reverberation time was lowered from 0.6 seconds to 0.48 seconds. This figure is well under the target figure and just above the lower tolerance level. These requirements are specified in the VDI 2569 standard and are therefore binding for planners.
TOP RIGHT: The room can be zoned and shielded with the aid of the translucent CP30 and the suspended TP30 panels.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Both the Rossoacoustic CP30 and TP30 elements can be suspended from the ceiling using fittings.
NIMBUS GROUP ACOUSTIC PANELS 140
Besides acoustics, light is also an important factor when it comes to employees’ well-being and effectiveness in an open-plan office. Daylight from the ceiling-high windows can pass unobstructed through the translucent CP30 panels. The panel has an air of lightness and almost seems to float in mid-air due to the transparent edging. This almost playful touch contrasts with the predominantly functional room design, thus creating a pleasant working atmosphere. The translucent CP30 elements from Rosso create different zones in the room, yet it still appears open and expansive. As Carsten Tasche, a director of OCC Office Center Competence GmbH, explains: “For many years now, Rosso has been the only partner for us when it comes to deploying transparent acoustic systems.”
system. The colourful, fabric-covered, acoustically effective system provides the required flexibility and therefore the best conditions for focused and communicative working. Various shades of green were chosen for the fabric elements to match the material and colour concept of the interior. “High-quality, functional design objects that appeal on an emotional level help to foster a sense of well-being in the office,” says Katharina Schmidt, head of product development at Rosso and an interior architect. NIMBUS-GROUP.COM
ACOUSTIC PANELS IN HARMONY WITH THE INTERIOR CONCEPT The CP30 elements mounted at the workplaces themselves are joined by the fabric-covered TP30 room partitioning
TOP: The CP 30 panels have a direct effect on the room’s climate and enhance the working atmosphere.
THIS PICTURE: Group discussions are an established feature of the company culture. They are held in arenas fitted with translucent Rossoacoustic CP30 panels and the fabric covered panels from the Rossoacoustic TP30 range.
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ODE TO ART 146
TRANSCENDENCE IN TIME
ovement, colours and strokes; these are the methods of Hong Zhu Anâ€™s artistic expression. His works reflect the spiritual connection with his inner self, cultivated in his continuous transcendence past material boundaries to discover the limits of his own spiritual journey. Every work has a story, expressed by methods beyond semantic logic, in the motions of his brush strokes, calligraphy and washes of pigments spreading across the paper. Having learned the traditional arts of his native culture and the arts of the West, he abandons artistic tradition to present harmonious blends of both that are familiar, yet belonging fully to the man himself. One can trace the spiritual journey of the man in his works, corresponding with the passions, maturity and tranquillity present in his personal life. His works appear to me a reflection of our inner minds and desires, defying corporeal borders to express raw emotions that unites us all in human relation. The most admirable element of Hong Zhu Anâ€™s artistic sensibility is his unfaltering zeal for transformation. With the many years behind his career, he still strives to excel in his works, practicing his art with diligence and discipline. In every series of works he produces, the rising power of his strokes are palpable, complemented by new pigments and imageries that presents refreshing visuals and reflections to us. It is that intrinsic quality of the man, immortalised in his works, that stirs us to question our resolve to connect with our spirituality and revivify our journeys in life. Genesis, 105 x 105 cm, Ink on Rice Paper odetoart.com