Is this green office a blueprint for the future?

One of the burning questions for architects and designers today is how to re-imagine the workplace to help companies lure employees back into the office after pandemic-induced bouts of remote working. The team at Benoy took on the challenge with its new Singapore studio, with a focus on flexibility, wellness and productivity, and is justifiably proud of the result.

Situated on the 21st floor of The Gateway office building in the heart of the CBD, the 536 square metre studio offers Benoy’s almost 40 staff breathtaking city skyline and sea views.

Stepping into the studio, one is greeted by a generous, open galleria bathed in natural light with lush greenery and plentiful seating. This area also serves as a showcase of Benoy’s top industry awards and iconic projects. The parallelogram-shaped floor space accommodates diverse functions – workstations, meeting and social spaces, acoustic pods, rest areas, and office facilities, radiating a warm and welcoming ambiance.

About 60% of the space is designed for desk capacity, with 40% for non-workstation environments, to foster creativity and collaboration. A highlight is undoubtedly The Loft, an open area for events, informal meetings and social gatherings, with the modern hanging light fixtures providing a warm and cozy setting, much like one’s own living room. The large retractable projector screen adds versatility for events and presentations. It sits beside a glass-walled boardroom.

Ergonomic work desk solutions facing the stunning sea view offer both sitting and standing positions, promoting better posture and enhanced focus. Yoga mats are provided for staff exercise sessions, along with a healthy selection of fruits and low-sugar food options. This is complemented by an agile working policy, including 2-day flexible working arrangements.

Furniture retained from Benoy’s previous Anson Road office was cleaned and reupholstered for a refreshed appearance and extended lifespan. What couldn’t be used was donated to office recycling outlets. Materials with the ​“Singapore Green Labelling Scheme” certification mark and specified low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) were chosen for new furnishings.

As much as possible, the new studio space incorporates biophilia to enhance aesthetics and psychological wellbeing, by bringing nature indoors. Companion plants from the old office, which had been rescued and cared for under a previous “Adopt a Plant Campaign”, are among a total of 571 plants in the studio, which equates to an impressive 16:1 plant to person ratio!

This is the second Asian office transformation for Benoy. Early last year, it moved the Hong Kong studio into a stunning new space at Tower 535 in Causeway Bay, also featuring an open plan, with communal and social spaces. Let’s hope that both environments create equally inspiring results for Benoy and its clients in the years to come.