The new headquarters for Sultanate of Oman’s largest bank looks to change the way its employees work, writes Janice Seow.
April 8th, 2011
Leading interior design firm Geyer, in partnership with local architects and designers, has developed a 320,000 square feet headquarters for Bank Muscat that is setting new benchmarks for workplace design in the Middle East.
The intention was to consolidate 8 existing locations into a single facility that would support sustainable growth, promote innovation and collaboration, attract and retain a diverse workforce, and improve efficiencies.
Cultural overtones are evident throughout, with the contemporary design strongly referencing Islamic architectural elements.
Key features and amenities that support people gathering have also been incorporated, extending to the families of employees and the broader community within public areas.
The 4 campus-style buildings are linked by an interactive, glass covered main ’street’. Open to the public, it features, among other things, a Bank Muscat branch, restaurants, and an auditorium.
The arrangement of landscaping creates intimate seating areas and improves pedestrian flow through the street to the multiple lifts accessing the workplace.
There is also visual access between the ’street’ and workplace, enhanced by balconies, sky bridges and mashrabiyas.
Importantly, employees are encouraged to view the entire building as their workplace, not just their desk.
“The physical delineation between the public on the ’street’ and the Bank Muscat work environment has enabled greater opportunity to move freely between work floors and to use the amenity spaces provided in the building without the need to pass through security barriers,” says Geyer in its press statement.
“This change in itself is significant in the impact it makes to building functions and interaction between people.”
Interconnecting stairs and sky bridges also provide additional opportunities for connection throughout the environment.
Reflecting the culturally diverse employee demographic, the major breakouts and local hubs are themed, providing variety and choice for people to collaborate and work away from their desks.
In addition, modular spaces and bench style settings allow the workplace to evolve and respond to change, while the provision of shared, non-dedicated work areas means that significant staff growth can be more easily accommodated over time.
Geyer says its client hopes the building will help to break down business silos, encourage a more transparent, egalitarian workstyle, and support knowledge development and innovation.
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!
According to Le Corbusier, the struggle for it underpins the history of architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright described it as a “beautifier of buildings”. And Motoko Ishii famously equated it to life itself. Indispensable, life-affirming and metamorphic, light underpins all architectural and design efforts.
Durable and adaptable seating creates dynamic teaching and learning environments at the new Centre for Creative Industries at St Andrew’s Lutheran College.
Introducing Kabul Social, a new Afghan restaurant in Sydney’s CBD, whose concept and design tell the story of a meeting of cultures and a desire to make meaningful social change.
Hong Kong correspondent, Ben McCarthy, takes a trip to Tokyo for their designers festival.
Organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council, The Furniture Design Award (FDA) 2010 is now open for registrations.
Discover the people and movements shaping design at the annual Colourways Trend Forecast Workshop.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
A statement showroom in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD gave Sculptform the opportunity to truly showcase its handcrafted philosophy and design credibility.
With a new showroom in Brisbane, Zenith is leading the way in the experiential for both clients and staff, presenting their product in a beautiful space that is everything it should be and so much more.
Iris is a small space in Gurugram, India, that has become a beautiful and functional workplace. Envisage has made a grand design gesture on an intimate scale, providing its client with a bespoke and signature environment.