DENTSU, YOUNG & RUBICAM
Water tank panels usually found on the roofs of buildings form a feature wall facing the entrance. Its raw metal finish is dramatically countered with a finely finished white pylon that is inscribed with the company's logo and signage. There's no reception space in this office, although visitors can wait at the small lobby here before entering further.
The individual rooms, while very small in
plan, have to 'work triple duty' - as private workspace, meeting area and presentation
space. To augment the views, storage walls are pulled away from the windows 'so that you
don't feel like you are walking into a box'. Each room is lined with full height concealed
storage walls, has a worktop for computer monitor, and mobile table clad in
glass. Note the OPS chair from Thonet designed in 1947 for the American navy. An abstract
reference to the sea beyond, perhaps?
Off-white surfaces in plastic laminate, to form a neutral background to the print ad materials to be displayed. Window systems, workstations and furniture are all in natural metals or metallic gray glass. An extensive amount of recycled timber is used for the flooring, the only 'color' in the whole office space!
The instruction was: 'No walls. Make sure the view is always the most predominant thing. And if there were partitions, everything would be glass'. This seating- conversation area is essential when the working hours are very long. Custom-made sofas of gray mohair; Eileen Gray side tables and Eames Aluminum Group chairs throughout.
Click images for larger view
Photography : C I & A
I N M A N Y W A Y S A D A P T A B L E
The huge water tank panels at the entrance might be the most visibly distinguishable feature in Dentsu Young & Rubicam (DY&R) Partnership's office at the Concourse on Level 36, but the real cherry in the pie is not about the obvious. What appears to be a series of plainly looking executive offices fitted into a narrow L-shaped plan is underscored by rational 'responses' to two main factors: the design brief, and the location.
DY&R Partnership is one of five set-ups in the DY&R 'family'; the others being DY&R Brand Communications and DY&R Design, and Wunderman Cato Johnson, all in the same building on levels 30 and 32 respectively, and Burston Marsteller at Odeon Towers on Level 16. Each has a similar 'light industrial' design theme. Poole Associates has kept faithfully to this cherished theme in all their designs for the DY&R offices over the last six years, always introducing some variations with each new development.
Says Ed Poole: 'When they moved to the Concourse, and saw the absolutely magnificent views, the instruction was: 'No walls. Make sure the view is always the most predominant thing'. We talked about glass everywhere. And if there were partitions, everything would be glass'. To augment these views, walls are pulled away from the windows in all rooms 'so that you don't feel like you are walking into a box every time you enter a room'.
The individual rooms, while very small in plan, have to 'work triple duty' - as private workspace, meeting area and presentation space. Because of the 'tight' floor plans, storage walls were built vertically and equipped with doors so that files - or 'personal bits and pieces' - can be locked away, and then the room left open for other users, in the manner of 'cocktailing' or 'hot-desking' which replaces the standard format of each person-one cubicle. Says Andrew Jones, partner at Poole Associates: 'We decided to do away with the usual systems furniture because these guys travel a lot throughout Asia, and while they are away, their rooms can be used by somebody else who may be passing through from New York or Japan, or as smaller meeting rooms'. The worktop runs the length of the window wall (see floor plan) in a continuous stretch. There's a circular meeting table of gray metallic glass, with wheels for easy mobility, which functions also as a side table to the worktop.
Plastic laminate surfaces are in off-white to form a neutral background to the print ad materials to be displayed. Window systems, workstations and furniture are all of natural metals or metallic gray glass. 'They wanted to have a very neutral space, so we decided on no color. Everything would be gray, white or black. They didn't want to sit in a yellow room, or a green room, or something, they just didn't want color anywhere that would interfere in the process of developing artwork or whatnot for clients'. An extensive amount of recycled timber, the only 'color' in the spaces, were used for the flooring. The wooden floor was 'a response to the staff's preference for natural materials'.
A peculiarity of this office is there's no reception space, although there is a vestibule where visitors could wait before entering further. The raw metal finish of the feature wall placed here is dramatically countered with a finely finished, white pylon that is inscribed with the company's logo and signage.
Says Poole of this, yet another well-accomplished job, 'All our ideas are derived from interviews with the management. We try to understand the company's corporate structure and their management style before beginning the planning, so that these would be reflected in the way the office is built. With DY&R, each office works differently. And you can see that the response in planning has been different. For example, the design department is totally open plan; management has different departments, some enclosed, some open. This executives' office is probably the most unique in its use of the hot-desking scheme. It is unheard of for executives, and is usually reserved for lower management but in accepting the scheme for this office, the clients are, in a sense, getting more value out of their given floor space'.
Dentsu Young & Rubicam Partnerships
36th Floor : The Concourse, Singapore
Poole Associates Private