The AirAsia Headquarters or RedQ—the winning entry in a company-wide naming competition—was envisioned to be the new home for the Allstars, which is the monicker given to the highly driven employees of AirAsia.
Completed and operational since 7 November 2016, the six-storey block comprises three levels of office space—with a total of 240,000 square feet—that sit on top of another three levels of parking. It integrates all operational and administrative functions of the AirAsia Group with supporting conference and recreational facilities for the various companies and departments. The project site is located next to the new Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA 2), covering an area of approximately 4.8 acres.
The client’s brief was to provide a house for AirAsia employees. The theme—under the tagline of One Big Happy Family—required designers to rethink how the large office building should be configured. The approach in the layout was to design a space for a flat hierarchical organisation that needs a horizontally organised building, with an open office design where even the upper management sits in open areas without wall enclosures.
The new paradigm of office space design calls for increasing the bump factor—a chance for informal meetings—that maximises space utilisation while creating collaborative nodes, yet providing contemplative and creative areas in a variety of layouts. Mobile workplaces and hot desking are the new buzzwords for the new workspaces that move people.
A large atrium spine was arranged around where the pulse of the company resides. Spaces flow from one area to another, with meeting nodes and the cafeteria flowing interchangeably, as well as work desks and pillow lined kiosks being juxtaposed next to one another. This design was to fulfil the need for periodic town hall meetings and the propensity for AirAsia to celebrate and have fun.
Travel within the office complex is mainly via flying steel staircases and bridges, with limited lifts provided. This is an extension of the strategy to foster the bump factor and also as a method to promote healthy living and an active work lifestyle.
The footprint of the office covers approximately 70 metres in width, with the atrium spine providing daylight deep into the interior through judicious positioning of clerestory windows tucked under a large metal-clad wing-roof that bears the corporate colours and logo of AirAsia.
In terms of interior design, the industrial look of this open office plan with bare ceilings serves as a tabula rasa or blank canvas for the colours and vibrancy of the AirAsia corporate branding to imbue the spaces with a kaleidoscope of experience. A cornucopia of meeting pods, conference rooms, chill-out areas and casual workstations was individually decorated so that each room is different. Twenty six different meeting areas were finished with colours and graphics representing the various AirAsia hubs and destinations around the world.
Project Name: AirAsia RedQ
Location: KLIA 2, Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Completion Date: 7 November 2016
Site Area: 18,494 square metres
Gross Floor Area: 56,485.45 square metres
Number of Units: 1 block
Building Height: 28.7 metres (6+1 mechanical floor)
Client/Owner: AirAsia Berhad
Architecture Firm: Veritas Architects Sdn Bhd
Principal Architect: Azif Md Nasaruddin
Design Consultant: Veritas Architects Sdn Bhd
Lighting Consultant: Veritas Architects Sdn Bhd
Landscape Architect: Veritas Landscape Sdn Bhd
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: AECOM Perunding Sdn Bhd
Civil & Structural Engineer: Minconsult Sdn Bhd
Quantity Surveyor: KPK Quantity Surveyors (Semenanjung) Sdn Bhd
Interior Design Firm: Veritas Interiors Sdn Bhd
Interior Fit-out Contractor: In Strike Sdn Bhd
Images/Photos: Paul Gadd