Invista and its group of companies have over 130,000 employees worldwide, working to improve life’s essential products – things like food, clothing, water, transportation and technology. So when they were looking to consolidate their operations in one location in Shanghai, China, they partnered DB&B to transform the way they work and enable a workspace that drives innovation, promotes a sense of belonging and employee wellness. For this 45,000 square feet, double floor space, Invista aimed for it to be home to a big family. This new workspace would be fresh, vibrant and open to encourage collaboration.
COMING TOGETHER WITH ONE VISION
For a unique project such as this, DB&B Singapore’s design innovation board tag-team DB&B Shanghai to deliver a holistic design solution. With the regional design leadership team leading the initial programming stages to the workshops and townhall sessions, it was critical for Invista and their group of companies to fully grasp the change and
transformational requirements to a more open and ‘officeless’ work environment.
Through various observations and user studies, DB&B also concluded that the new work space needed to be comfortable and one that promotes employee well-being. This was one of the key driving force behind an overarching design concept that was inspired by nature and its people; an office habitat within the concrete jungle of Yangpu District which is best described as an oasis. This design narrative and planning have deeply influenced the overall look and feel of the workspace that Invista now proudly calls ‘Home’.
THE GREEN OASIS
The planning principles took all the considerable possibilities to adapt to the ever changing workplace culture and the organisation’s future growth. DB&B was committed to enable full flexibility and modularity to support Invista’s operational needs. One key feature of this space is the Social Hub that forms the heart of the space, where employees can meet, share, and dine as one family. Located just adjacent to the reception area, this multi-functional zone represents the very essence of connectivity. It provides a combination of social and private spaces to meet various meeting needs.
The diverse selection of seating, a stylish water front bar area, a blend of different furniture selection, formal private meeting rooms can play host to a variety of activities. Whether it’s a luncheon or even a party, people have plenty of opportunities to interact in a social, professional and innovative environment. This ecosystem allows work and lifestyles to collide and fuse in multiple dimensions, providing employees and visitors with a warm and relaxed setting.
A PLACE TO BE CREATIVE, TOGETHER
Designed with flexibility and collaboration in mind, the open workspace is equipped with 120-degree workstation, interspersed with design aesthetics and different forms of collaborative furniture which offers modularity and ergonomics to ensure well-being of employees. In accordance with the function and the proportion of people, the enclosed meeting rooms in different locations are allocated for employees in the different zones. Work areas are planned as self-serving ‘neighbourhoods’ to have sufficient amenities and facilities.
In an open plan office, it’s also critical not to undermine noise levels. By introducing suspended echo panels at collaboration and discussion areas, this will improve on sound absorption.
DB&B also infused a myriad of lush greenery into the space, from the central core at the Social Hub to the workspace as well as creatively applied them as vertical space dividers. A critical component of an oasis, indoor plants are proven to also benefit employees in encouraging both mental and physical well-being.
The interior design of the office is rapidly evolving, and they are no longer limited to the traditional monotony of the past. Companies are designing the workspace as a second ‘home’ to employees. Hence, they are putting great emphasis in ensuring the workspace is no longer solely for work but also a platform for them to create bonds and cultivate a sense of belonging.
Moving with times, insta-worthy nooks with a backdrop of Invista’s brand messages are created as to catch up on the social media trend. An added value to the design was the successfully application of Invista’s proprietary products as part of the interiors. Almost 70% of the flooring was laid with carpet tiles that are made of Invista’s ANTRON fiber.
Based on user research, the DB&B design team not only explored the working styles and successfully enabled a people-oriented smart work space for Invista and their group of companies but also, one that takes into account a place to socialise and bond as a big family.