Akin to a highly engaging gaming experience, this brilliantly designed office combines a series of unconventional digital-inspired elements to create an exceptional spatial journey.
Leading global online games developer Garena had a clear goal in mind for their Singapore head office: to create an immersive workplace similar to a digital playground where work and play co-exist harmoniously without compromising corporate functionality. The new workplace should also align with its brand values, which focus on a human and digital-centric approach to optimise employee engagement.
“People are the pivotal element in creating a playful environment and an unforgettable digital journey in this office,” PAND Design Group’s design team explains further. “Our design intention aims at reflecting Garena’s DNA while ensuring staff are empowered and inspired by an impactful work environment.”
The adventure begins in the lobby, where Garena’s fiery red logo on the white-washed wall draws the eye to two casual sitting areas. Track lines on the floor serve as wayfinders, visually leading the way into the internal office. Across a long hallway, a row of meeting rooms flanks the front-of-the-house zone, each incorporating digitally enhanced accents evocative of their individual themes.
“With digital design at the core of our concept, we had to figure out how to incorporate a digitised aesthetic into a physical space. Hence, we employed a handful of mixed media from purely technological – for instance, utilising digital screens as part of a living and breathing mural, to having physical interpretations of the digital landscape,” the design team shares.
Next to the waiting area, the guest meeting room features an artistic composition of LED screens displaying videos on its main wall. The idea behind the use of TV screens was to convey movement and constant change, reflecting the fast-paced progression of Garena’s body of work.
Colours are also vital in shaping the digital themes. In one of the meeting rooms, the design team explored programmable RGB lighting, which allows users to tune the different hues to generate the mood they desire. For other meeting spaces, colourful wall panels were creatively put together to resemble pixel art. “We used square echo panels to re-enact an 8-bit representation of what the meeting room name means, creating a holistically-tailored concept for the rooms,” the designers add.
For the main internal conference room, the design team gave it a “control room” appearance that comes complete with gaming chairs, a sleek dark table, and edgy strips of light to generate a futuristic vibe. “Just like how a game tends to have a ‘preparation base’, we wanted the design to reflect a hub of sorts for the staff to brainstorm and derive ideas,” says the design team.
To balance out the digital-inspired theme with a touch of nostalgia, one of the discussion rooms was adorned with a beautiful line drawing of Garena’s first office in Singapore. From here, the track lines expand further into the primary working area and become a central accent to complement the corporate-like setting. One of the main walls also features elegant illustrations of Singapore’s attractions for a hint of cultural appeal.
“We wanted the main circulation space within the work zone to resemble a racing game; thus, we opted for “racetracks” reflected in both the floor and ceiling. We created these lines from stylised cut-out pieces of vinyl and cove lighting to imbue the space with an energetic pathway stretching across the office,” elaborates the designers.
The bold and dynamic stylistic approach tones down in the cafe, where a calmer atmosphere is ideal for recharging and chilling out. Designed as a restoration point, the space evokes an American diner with an allocated ‘gaming corner’. The polished surfaces are further complemented by wood flooring and finishing, while green foliage against timber columns infuses a touch of nature. In addition, the cafe incorporates operable walls that can be opened up to expand the space for large gatherings.
Project: Garena Singapore
Design Studio: PAND Design Group
Photo Credit: PAND Design Group