Aster Pharmacy wanted their new head office to be a place that encouraged strategic planning and creative thinking. To achieve this objective, the office had to be completely different from the operations office with an exciting environment to nurture innovation. The building’s entrance lobby also needed an update with a modern and corporate atmosphere.
We chose ‘growth’ as our design theme for Aster Pharmacy’s Head Office. The entrance lobby had a glass partition, which broke up the visual experience. We removed the partition and opened up the area with wooden features using integrated lighting. Starting from the lift wall, we carried this design up to the ceiling at double height to reflect Aster’s humble beginnings and transformation into an ever-growing healthcare giant. We kept the walls and flooring white to create a canvas for the central wooden feature. The existing doors and services proved to be the biggest challenge. We concealed all the doors by making them flush with the wall surface to create a seamless look throughout. The fire alarm panel and other services were neatly tucked inside an enclosure. We also commissioned artwork for one wall to reflect Aster Pharmacy’s mission and to create a unique and interesting focal point.
The office space had lower ceiling heights and external windows on one side. We re-designed the area with an open white ceiling and moved any closed spaces across from the external windows, allowing maximum penetration of natural light. We included glass partitions for each closed office to make the most use of the natural light. The client wanted to encourage a culture of team collaboration to develop creative and innovative thinking. To integrate this concept throughout the space, we designed every office to also serve as collaboration spaces. The open office workstations don’t have privacy screens, and we chose mobile pedestals instead of office chairs to encourage impromptu meetings between team members.
We chose not to include any closed offices. Instead, we created focus rooms to be used on a time-sharing basis, and included a casual discussion area for collaboration. We took this approach to the top of the organisation, and now the CEO only spends 50% of his time in office. The rest of the time, even this office is used as a meeting space, complete with benches to encourage collaborative teamwork. We extended this idea to the common areas in the office space and created collaborative sections with booth seating for discussions. Every collaborative area has bright-coloured floors that are connected to each other, a feature inspired by metros and trains. Other features include a limitless ideation space with sky-inspired walls and ceiling, artificial grass flooring and beanbag seating, and a stepped amphitheater for bigger team meetings. Co-creating spaces with soft bench seating for flexible meeting set-up, and high table meeting spaces for informal meetings and casual discussions are placed around the area for convenient access.