REPRESENTING DESIGN PHILOSOPHIES
DB&B Singapore marked a major milestone earlier this year with a complete makeover of their office to reflect their emphasis on innovation and functionality.
Having delivered successful projects over the past 27 years, they are strong believers of innovation and functionality in workplace design. Being able to reflect these values in their creations is something they continuously aim for, and they are excited to see this coming to fruition in the design of their new headquarters in Singapore.
REBUILDING THEIR HOMEGROUND
Spearheading their own design and build project, they engaged stakeholders from various teams to understand how they envision their workplace to be, and identify the current gaps in amenities and facilities. At the core of it all, it was important that the new office is a representation of DB&B’s design philosophies and their latest solutions for workplaces.
They adopted an approach to facilitate their move towards an agile workspace and encourage activity-based work and collaboration. With most employees working remotely over the past two years, it was also important that the final design invites and motivates employees to return to the office to collaborate in-person. Another goal as well, was to enable the office to function as a showroom for client demonstration and mock-ups.
Entering the DB&B office, one is greeted by a customised reception counter branded with DB&B’s logo. Fully fabricated in-house, this masterpiece makes a statement as guests arrive. With frequent visits from clients and vendors, this counter also offers a discussion space at the side so quick chats can happen. To add greenery to the space, a full height light box with plants was installed as a backdrop to create the illusion of greater depth and greenery.
ASSEMBLY OF MINDS
Located on both sides of the reception counter, enclosed meeting spaces are available for various group sizes. The boardroom features acoustic boards to add contours to the wall, and a large quartz table. Smart conferencing technology paired with a built-in cable management system embedded within the table allows the room to maintain a tidy appearance. For formal or remote discussions in a smaller group, two private rooms are available.
EMPOWERING EMPLOYEES TO CHOOSE
To manage various work styles, the 6,000 square feet office is divided into five main types of workspaces – agile, semi-private, collaborative, fixed seating and focus spaces. This mix of spaces allows employees to explore and enjoy working in different parts of the office throughout the day.
For their Business Development team, DB&B created a semi-private space, segregated from the rest of the office by sliding panels. Made from acoustic panels, this installation provides partial privacy for discussions within the team when necessary. A bespoke communal table that hosts the team sits in front of a vibrant acoustic wall, livening up the atmosphere within the space.
The agile work area, also known as the hot-desking space, is located at the other side of the sliding panel. This space is set aside for teams who return to the office periodically between their visits to worksites and comprises of two elegantly sculpted suar wood tables and focus desks. Both tables are fitted with power tracks for effective cable management.
To encourage employees to enjoy natural light and the views outside, bar tables are placed along the windows. For focus work and private calls, pods and phone booths are available.
With potential clients visiting their office often, DB&B marked out various areas in the office that can be used to showcase their design solutions and their craftmanship. In addition, by working closely with their partners in the industry, an array of technology and products are displayed to help clients envision the solutions DB&B can provide.
THE CORE OF COLLABORATION
As the name suggests, The Core is located in the middle of the office. With the frequent need for cross-department collaborations, this central area offers two collaborative spaces. For discussions that require screen sharing, a smart screen is installed beside a four seater table. At the other side, lounge seats and white boards are available for a casual brainstorming session.
STIMULATING THE SENSES
To drive creativity, a well-stocked material library is easily accessible along the main corridor of the office. This space serves as a sensory and exploration lab to enhance the design conceptualisation process. Full-height cabinets with pigeonholes and drawers allow various samples and project materials to be stored in an organised manner.
WELLBEING AND HEALTH
Over the past years, DB&B has gained immense experience in adopting and applying safety and well-being measures across their projects. For their own office, it was their priority to uphold the same standards to encourage a balanced and healthy work environment. With the majority of their creative division and multimedia team working with heavy hardware, desks were assigned to individual employees in these teams.
To optimise space, their design team developed a creative way to position their workstations while avoiding direct facing of any two individuals which is aimed primarily to be pandemic resilient. Workstations were made up of height adjustable tables to promote ergo- nomics by allowing employees to change their positions throughout the day.
Understanding the nature of the work of their finance and human resource teams, coupled with the need for storage of confidential documents, both departments are nestled at discreet locations of the office. The finance team occupies the corner of the office, with their space demarcated by planter boxes that double up as storage space. A generous full-height cabinet installed against the neighbouring wall offers ample space for document storage. The human resource team has a private room segregated by a double-glazed door to help maintain privacy.
The space-efficient pantry offers employees a social hub during mealtimes or to grab a quick bite during breaks. Cushioned benches along with the brick walls add texture and colour to the space.
A SPACE THAT WORKS FOR THEM
“We wanted to create a space that our employees would enjoy working in, feel inspired and motivated to work creatively. This is where we bounce ideas off each other, innovate and put together new solutions for our clients – and I am truly glad to see this project represent our beliefs and design philosophies in such an elegant manner,” says Jeanette Siew, Executive Director of DB&B.
*This story was first published in Office Concept Magazine, Issue VI6N1, MCI (P) 067/03/2023.