Multinational food products corporation, Danone, was seeking a commercial interiors specialist with the right expertise and experience to deliver its new Asia headquarters in Singapore. This workplace had to be ‘agile’ to cater to its regional and local employees and at the same time, reflecting Danone’s mission to build a healthier future.

From the onset, DB&B’s design team was tasked to meet the core objective of transforming Danone’s working environment into an open, flexible and dynamic workplace. With an established global presence, Danone’s Asia headquarters plays host to both regional-visiting and locally-based employees. It is imperative the design team fully understands the nature of space that supports the needs of the diverse employees.

Danone also envisioned an office that reflects one of its 2030 Business & Sustainability Goals to “Entrust Danone’s People to create new futures”, towards a more sustainable, collaborative and community-engaging way of working.

Agile Work Setting Offer flexibility and Encourage Collaboration

The space planning guidelines that were set by the Paris steering committee provided the design team with a framework to work with; further studies such as surveys, interviews and workshops were conducted to discern the needs of the users for better understanding. Findings revealed an agile work setting will appeal to both the regional and local employees, providing the flexibility and support they needed. Planned autonomous ‘neighbourhoods’ are effectively zoned to meet work (with amenities), collaboration and storage needs.  The mixture of workstations and high desks (hot-desking) are availed for different work styles, with close proximity to huddle spaces and phone booths for more focused tasks. Majority of the seats are unassigned and users are free to choose according to the nature of the task at hand.  Manager rooms are easily adaptable and can double up as meeting rooms when unoccupied.

Plenty of collaboration areas and other amenities are available to support the teaming culture at Danone. For example, the multi-purpose training room is configurable to suit various event needs and when combined with the spacious pantry, it becomes a large townhall that is able to accommodate up to 200 people.  Facilitating social interactions and creative discussions, the collaboration areas are designed to be more relaxed and informal with vibrant, expressive colours.

A Truly Sustainable Asian Hub

This Asian Hub clearly speaks of the company’s commitment to sustainability. Starting from the impressive greenwall at the reception and surrounding greenery that’s peppered across the entire space, employees are also equipped with environmentally-friendly amenities to uphold the company’s mission of building a healthier future. Sustainable innovations like the charge-as-you-ride, self-powered cycling devices that can generate power to charge mobile phones motivate users to choose an active lifestyle to be fit and healthy. The office was also granted the BCA Green Mark Platinum certification.

A clear representation of an Asia headquarters, the workplace embraces the region’s eclectic cultures by incorporating unique themes for each zone. The different zones for the back-of-house are demarcated using special cultural motifs to represent Asia Pacific countries that Danone has a presence in. The design team and the Client hand-picked each furniture and display accessories in each space. Encapsulating ‘homeliness’, the final design is unified by bringing a sense of belonging at the Singapore-themed pantry, a home for Danone Asia Pacific headquarters. The DB&B design team said, “This is a very memorable project for us, it’s one space that’s packed with uniqueness and personality. The design thinking process allowed us to look deep into the needs and the ideation resulted in an integrated design solution, befitting a regional headquarters.

Project: Danone, Singapore
Design Studio: DB&B
Photo Credit: DB&B