BUILDING & ENGINEERING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

BDO Singapore's new space is far from boring

Its 30,000 sq ft office is café-inspired.

ID21 collaborated with one of the top accountancy firms in Singapore to design and build its lively new 30,000 sq ft home at Parkview Square, which boasts an open layout and collaborative atmosphere brought to life with bold and colourful finishes. The office covers two floors and brings together over 400 staff from previously separate offices.

Working with a dense seating plan, ID21 took inspiration from the principles of urban planning to organise distinct zones each with their own spatial identity for each department, united by a central social hub. This is a design and build project by ID21; designer Tiwe Tan worked alongside project manager Leslie Tan and construction manager Ethan Loong.

“Departments are woven across a fluid floorplate rhythmed with collaboration areas as well as quiet zones,” says Frankie Chia, managing partner, BDO Singapore. “In one department, activity-based workplace settings have given rise to hot-desk seating at either large communal tables or at a window-side counter offering an expansive seafront view.”

Further, brick walls and chunky wooden tables give a lofty feel to some spaces, while another area evokes the outdoors with an image backdrop of a luscious waterfall.

“Wall graphics are a strong design feature used to reinforce the company identity, expressed in infographics and brand colours in the corridors,” says Chia. “Impromptu diagrams can also be found drawn on writable walls, which allow staff to easily brainstorm together and share ideas.” Similarly arresting, the café-inspired doodles in the breakout-cum-pantry gives the space the look and feel of a casual coffee house, he adds.

“This is the sweet spot where the company comes together to meet, work, live and play, and visitors can chose to relax on sofas adorned with giant macaroons, sit or stand at the bar counter or cluster at the dining tables, according to their needs and preferences,” shares Chia.

The result, he says, is a highly functional yet informal and modern environment that is more akin to a lounge than an office. “It not only looks good, but the resulting integrated space and open culture has already helped bring the staff closer together,” says Chia.

He notes that this lively office design scheme also strengthens BDO’s reputation as an innovative and forward-thinking company, appropriate for the millennials that make up an important part of their work force. Says Chia: “We don’t want to be seen as a typical accounting firm, it has to be progressive, relevant to the people we’re working with and attracting future employees as well.”

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BDO Singapore's new space is far from boring

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