Form and function meet colourful details at FWD headquarters. What transpires is a highly effective workplace that inspires employees to embrace opportunities, goals and challenges – thanks to PAND’s creative ingenuity.

At the office-dominant floors of Pacific Century Place, the lifts open out into the headquarters of FWD, a leading insurance company owned by Pacific Century Group. Designed by PAND International Design, this office expresses a shift away from conventional corporate styles towards a more creative workplace design.

The project began with a series of discussions with FWD’s heads of departments and their branding team, which eventually culminated into a distinctive concept of “chasing the sun”. While the client’s directive was to create a highly functional corporate office for their expanding workforce, they also wanted a workplace environment that has a more people-friendly touch.

“Our main objective is to bring the excitement and spirit of life into the office – that’s where the inspiration of “chasing the sun” comes in,” Managing Director of PAND International Design, Simon Pan explains. “We created a dynamic neighbourhood masterplan where we merged accessibility and the ease of orientation into a vibrant and lively atmosphere. This will be a place for users to embrace the challenges in life and reach for a better future, much
like how the sun will rise every day, offering a new opportunity each day. “

In the main workspaces, the design firm implemented an agile work environment to optimize space utilization and instil higher efficiency and collaboration among employees. To inject FWD’s personality into the spaces, the company’s corporate colours have been strategically used throughout the office interior.

“Colours play a significant role in carrying through the company’s brand identity,” Simon says. “As FWD’s corporate colours comprise different hues, we were careful with how we applied it as there’s a risk of overdosing the spaces with so many colours it comes off looking childish – like a kindergarten. To make sure we integrate colours in a sophisticated way, we devised a series of colour bands for the ceiling. Considering the whole office is configured within an open, flexible layout, we also used colours to demarcate each department. Thus, when you walk into this office, you’d notice changing colours as you go from one department to the next.”

The design team also incorporated running tracks that span across the open office. “Features like the colourful bands and running tracks are designed to motivate users to explore the physical space,” Pan explains. “In the main workspace, we wanted to offer an element of surprise in an activity-based workplace environment via a neighbourhood concept.”

The neighbourhood concept is brought to life through spaces designed like a town centre which comes complete with a bright orange truck that serves a rather important purpose. “The CEO requested for a truck to stand on during the bi-yearly townhall,” Simon says. “It was definitely an unusual request, but not an impossible one. We modified a Volkswagen truck to accommodate a solid platform over it. When no-one is standing on top to make announcements, it can be used as a bar counter.”

Throughout the office, there are eye-catching representations of outdoors parks. For instance, several casual discussion areas are equipped with a swing as well as outdoor benches and tables that are usually seen in picnic areas. Complementing the furniture is a whiteboard with a tree-shaped outline. Behind the whiteboard are a pair of glass-encased phone booth spaces to give employees a more private and quieter place to take calls or work in.

To align with Pacific Century Place’s green concept, sustainable materials are used wherever possible. In the reception area, the flooring is made from wood salvaged from old sampans in Bali which adds a local flavour to FWD’s Indonesian headquarters.

“In this office, we combined functional elements and stylistic details to create a place where people would be excited to come to work every day,” Simon says. “There’s also a no better place for this office to shine in than Pacific Century Place as this building has the perfect combination of flexible spaces, technology-driven infrastructure and an immensely strategic location.”

Project: FWD
Design Studio: PAND Design
Photo Credit: PAND Design