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05 May 2011
American Express in Singapore
Geyer's design of two new American Express offices leave room for growth, movement and change.
In consolidating its 3 existing offices into 2 new locations, American Express with CBRE acting as client representative, was looking to increase the flexibility and responsiveness of its portfolio.
The 75,000 sqft Mapletree Business City (MBC) suburban office and 25,000 sqft Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) city hub have reduced the organisation's footprint by 20 percent, but space is better optimised, and it is able to accommodate growth.
"A tailored workspace was required with a variety of spaces to work quietly, collaborate and grow teams as required," says Caroline Burns, Geyer's Regional Leader for Asia.
In designing the work environments, Geyer held strategic workshops with key American Express executives from which 5 objectives emerged, thus termed 'Premium', 'Innovative', 'Organic', 'Community' and 'Work-Life Blend'.
'Premium' is the main driver behind the functional and emotional aspects of the fit-out. The offices are also identical in design, with the same amenities and quality standards, offering a sense of familiarity and belonging to employees who are encouraged to move between the two.
'Singapore, the Garden City' is the theme, and this is drawn subtly into the space using natural light, and with abstract vegetation motifs.
The local theme continues with Peranakan motifs and shophouse architecture; these are subtly incorporated into the environment and also serve as wayfinding.
An organic design sees clusters standardising personal spaces around shared ones. The Loft areas, in particular, are important since many of the staff are under a flexible work scheme and many do not require a designated desk.
"The Loft is a dedicated space for flexible working. It is intended to give employees greater flexibility in how, when and where they work, as well as provide technology, spaces and policies to 'work with confidence'," says Burns.
Environmental sustainability is also integral to the design and is achieved through, among other means, the use of energy efficient lighting, and the reuse of existing furniture which have been reupholstered to fit the design of the new space. For these efforts, MBC has achieved the Green Mark Gold Plus fit-out within a Green Mark Platinum building, and MBFC a Green Mark Gold fit-out within a Green Mark certified building.