The new regional headquarters of Heineken in Singapore does a ‘180’ by uniting different offices in one open-plan workspace at The Metropolis.
Where once staff of Heineken Asia Pacific in Singapore worked in two different locations, they are now all housed in a brand new office on the 12th floor of The Metropolis.
With the move, the organisation has opted for a fresh, open office concept with American diner-style booths to breakout rooms and a bar-style pantry to facilitate different modes of work and interaction. There are even six brand-themed meeting rooms inspired by Heineken’s trademark beer brands, namely: Tiger, Heineken, Bintang, Desperados, Sol and Anchor.
“All the meeting rooms are completely different in look and feel and people can pick and choose where they want to work,” says Mark Campbell, Heineken’s Regional Corporate Relations Director, adding that the rooms can be used for meetings, casual discussions or even individual work.
Some highlights within these themed rooms include a surfboard for a meeting room table and a punching bag as room decor.
James Lim, Project Manager at Earnest Designer & Project – the firm appointed to design Heineken’s new office – says that the new space is “more fun and exciting” and has a stronger brand presence compared to the previous locations, which “were more conventional.”
“This office was to house the new combined entity of Heineken Asia Pacific [and that meant that] there were more employees and beer brands under one roof. Together with a team of staff from [the company], we worked out a design that effectively brought out the identities and characters of some of their key brands. The client also wished to incorporate the company values of Enjoyment, Respect and Passion, which we helped to infuse into the overall design,” says Lim.
Breakout rooms are designed to facilitate brainstorming sessions as well as provide a space for those who need to do private work or make a conference call. With few physical walls, employees also have the option of plugging in headphones to block out surrounding noise disruptions while seated in their open-plan cubicles.
State-of-the-art technology has also been incorporated into the new workspace in the form of a Vpod room, where fully immersive video conferencing and telepresence experiences can be conducted, which minimises the need for air travel.
Some of the biggest defining features within the office can be found near the main entrance: at the reception stands a large Heineken bottle wall display, and the bar-style pantry comes complete with its own draught tap, a bar counter decorated in Heineken bottles, and overhead lamps shaped like bottle screw caps branded after the company’s signature beers.
The new office aims to cultivate all the benefits associated with open-plan setups, such as diminished sense of hierarchy, and better communication and staff interaction. Says Campbell, “We all talk to each other and we see each other all the time [now]. And I think the staff find that refreshing.”
Earnest Designer & Project