SCA design develops a brand-driven design solution for Leo Burnett’s new office in Singapore, writes Olha Romaniuk.
Visitors to Leo Burnett’s Singapore office can sense a different approach to corporate space design as soon as they step out of the elevator doors. Indeed, the design of the creative solutions agency reflects the philosophy, identity and work culture of the company and inspires its multi-disciplinary staff to come together in an office that enables collaboration.
SCA design, a member of the ONG&ONG Group, was appointed to the project. Aside from being given creative freedom to inject a certain level of playfulness into the space, the design team, which included lead designer Micah Valenzuela and supporting designer Nur Atiqah Binte Mohd Ali also took to heart the agency’s desire for creative solutions that delivered business results and came up with a design for collaborative ‘WE’ spaces that merged flexibility and a sense of funkiness in a stylish resolution.
“We had guiding principles to influence the planning for the space, namely promoting the sharing of ideas, as well as making it an uplifting and energetic workspace,” says Valenzuela. “The office had to facilitate staff interaction to encourage innovation and creativity, provide a variety of effective spaces to support different workplace activities, break down barriers, and promote more connectivity and transparency across the workspace. The aim – to make it a conducive place for the staff, so it would simply be a great place to be.”
Spatial fluidity starts before visitors even enter the main work zones. In the reception area, clear, operable partitions delineate separations from other zones but can be opened up to allow more direct connections to the adjacent spaces. A similar approach reveals itself in the design of the meeting rooms and main work areas, where see-through partitions demarcate one space from another while maintaining the overall transparency.
Beyond the functional aspects, the project team introduced creative touches to each of the spaces within the Leo Burnett office. Behind the main reception counter, the designers have meticulously composed the company logo out of Leo Burnett-branded pencils. “Leo Burnett pencils are very symbolic to what the company does, and so is the Leo Burnett signature,” says Valenzuela. “Hence, with the help of the client’s own creative team, we developed an idea to combine these two symbolic elements. Considering how cost and budget were big drivers of the project, I believe we were able to create a cost-effective yet high-impact signage wall.”
The HAND wall installation in the reception/breakout space also features the clay moulded hands of each Leo Burnett Singapore staff member, serving as a symbol of the staff’s involvement in the creation of the new workspace.
A truly unique, contextual touch that distinguishes Leo Burnett Singapore from the rest of its global offices is the fusion of East and West that unobtrusively presents itself as a part of the overall design direction. Bespoke ceiling elements juxtapose themselves against bold-patterned carpets and Peranakan-motif inspired floor. Within each meeting room are colourful feature walls that combine cultural elements like Chinese menus, vintage record labels and retro TV/radio magazines into large artworks that serve as canvases for motivational quotes and create a strong impact against other unique statements pieces, like wall-hung wooden shophouse and container doors.
“We have used all these elements to interpret various stories of Singapore in the most cost-effective and clever way we can,” says Valenzuela. “The elements really make a statement because only Leo Burnett Singapore has these; they cannot be found in other Leo Burnett offices around the world.”