KASIKORN Business-Technology Group (KBTG) is undergoing a major transformation to support the arrival of the new FinTech digital banking era. With this industry-wide revolution, KBTG recognises the urgency of changing its way of working to suit the more modern and seamless culture that is native to its growing techsavvy community. The traditional big, bulky workstations were deemed inhibitive to communications and mobility across teams and disciplines.
To differentiate the project from other conventional financial establishments, the designer’s role encompasses materialising spatial programme, functionalities and aesthetic quality to best facilitate creative working experience for the organisation’s manpower.
Lessened private workspaces and increased communal areas intend to diversify the space’s functionality, which comprises meeting rooms of various sizes and Creative Box that was created to encourage users’ interactions. The K-café provides an ideal atmosphere for casual meetings that matches the taste and behaviours of contemporary generation of employees, whereas K-Stadium located on the 11th floor is designed to accommodate large-scale meetings and presentations in the digital era. With high regard for users’ health and social responsibility, KBTG was awarded a Platinum for New Construction and Major Renovation category from LEED.
Being a renovation project, it required the interior designer’s involvement at an early stage. Different methods were employed to help the structural and interior details complement each other and accommodate the change in functionalities determined by the bank’s activities and demands, including its 24/7 operation.
With the original structure’s low floor-to-slab range (3 metres) and the average storey height of 2.5 metres caused by the existing large beams, the 4,800-square-metre space per floor and 120-metre-length can accommodate 700 to 850 users. The challenge was in creating a spatial solution of spaciousness, flexibility and comfort with lessened scale of space that stimulates employees’ collaborations. The choices of materials and construction techniques coincide with LEED standard for the building to best optimise users’ benefit and minimise impact on the environment and public well-being.
SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS TO PROJECT CHALLENGES
The scale of the space was reduced through the combined use of plasterboard and exposed ceiling. The skim-coated ceiling above the main walkway adds dimension to the space as the main circulation and axis of the building. The lights operate independently in the designated area at night, consequentially lessening energy consumption of the space’s 24/7 operation while providing visual access to walkways in case of emergency. With the electrical and communication system and main sprinkler well hidden, the exposed ceiling at the work area grants optimal spaciousness as decreased depth of the PID system with bacteria and air loss prevention quality adds 10 centimetres to the space’s height and aesthetic.
While system works are designed to support adaptable spatial functionalities, Flexible Tree is incorporated along with floor extraction method to maximise the capacity and flexibility of the 800 unit-working space.
The Trees’ branches work as cords and cables’ organisers, with the planters functioning as junction boxes installed underneath the raised floor, hosting outlets of the electrical and network system by using the grid system. The rails of system workstation and furniture are designed to flexibly connect with the wires despite future rearrangements of the programme. Easy to disconnect and reinstall, Flexible Trees operate as a buffer, preventing users in the units adjacent to the main circulation from disturbances while contributing to the more touchable scale of the space.
Through solution finding and integration of knowledge in architecture, engineering, construction technology and LEED standard, the true value of the building’s interior space is not only conceived but complemented.
Project Name: KASIKORN Business-Technology Group (KBTG)
Location: Nonthaburi, Thailand
Completion Date: May 2016
Client/Owner: Kasikornbank PCL
Gross Floor Area: Approximately 60,000 square metres
Interior Design Firm: Progressive Building Management Co., Ltd. (pbm)
Lighting Consultant: Progressive Building Management Co., Ltd. (pbm)
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Arun Chaiseri Consulting Engineers Co., Ltd.
Quantity Surveyor: Progressive Building Management Co., Ltd. (pbm)
Architect Firm: Design 103 International Ltd.
LEED Consultant: Dr Jatuwat Varodompun, ISET (Thailand) Limited
Images: W Workspace; art4d magazine / Spaceshift Studio; art4d magazine / Ketsiree Wongwan