Over the past few years Citi have sought to rationalise and achieve greater consistency and flexibility in their substantial regional portfolio of office accommodation. Geyer were engaged to develop Regional Design Guidelines for Citi embracing Asia, Australia and India which drew upon best practices with Citi's more recent fitouts and global and regional industry benchmarks.
The intent was to provide a framework and set of guidelines that would assist local project teams plan and manage new fitouts more efficiently and also manage client expectations and requests within a broader framework of Citi-endorsed planning principles. The guidelines outlines Citi's workplace design objectives, floor zoning and planning principles, personal and shared support space allocation, reference to Citi Workplace Strategy (the policy on flexible working), building selection, security, signage etc and guidelines for the design of specialist areas. To this end a space calculator was also developed that provides an instant space budget based on headcount projections/structure and nature of operations.
Further to development of the Design Guide, Geyer were awarded the interior design consultancy for Citi's new front office operations in Singapore. The project consolidates Consumer, Corporate and private Banking groups in a single 250,000sqft tenancy in Asia Square and is the first time in the region all three groups will be collocated. The strategic decision was made to have a single client floor shared by all groups with a consistent Citi branding, however the space was cleverly designed to provide some smaller and more discreet meeting rooms with a slightly more ‘hospitality’ look and feel for private bank clients. The accommodation also includes Citi's largest and best-equipped trading floor in the region and one of the largest trading teams in Singapore, accommodating 350 dealers initially, with provision to expand to 380.
A key objective for Citi was future flexibility and space planning efficiency, and the large (approximately 30,000sqft) and regularly-shaped floorplates in Asia Square facilitated the development of a workfloor ‘template’ that is 80-90% applicable to all groups, providing modular and consistent allocation of meeting and focus rooms, offices, workstation clusters and storage. This significantly reduces the ongoing cost of churn due to constant resizing and restructuring of departments. The other significant factor in enhancing flexibility was the streamlining of workspace allocations, including a reduced quantity of one-size offices and a workstation design that enables fast and cost-effective modification by the CRS team to accommodate SVP's or intensify for project teams or contractors. This design has attracted interest regionally and globally within Citi and will provide the benchmark for future fitouts in Asia.
Complementing the typical support spaces provided on the workfloors is The Marketplace, a central place for Citi people to work and interact differently. It is a destination and magnet for people who are looking for an inspirational, energetic, informal and interactive place to generate fresh ideas and insights. The Marketplace is smart and special, combining unique settings, technologies and a fully-equipped cafe in an environment that looks different, feels different and enables different and valuable collaboration and connection between people.
Geyer are involved in supporting the change and communications associated with the transition to a new work environment, and are also advising Citi on the planning and concept for a number of other projects in Asia. Phase 1 has been completed with Phase 2 due mid-2012.