DBS Bank Headquarters
Monday 01 Oct 2012


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DBS has transformed over the decades from a state-backed vehicle for the financing of national development to a nimble, stable and successful public company with consumer, investment banking and trading functions. The move to a new Headquarters at MBFC presented an opportunity to have the facilities and aesthetic of the bank's own space reflect its new character.

The brief to the designers for 70,000m2 of space was thus clear: Consolidate from four buildings into one in Singapore's new financial centre. Transform the way DBS works. Highlight DBS's origins as an Asian bank and embody ‘New Asia'.

To meet the brief, a suite of spaces was built on every floor: The Hub - centralised by the lift lobby these social spaces introduce a new agile work-style. Workspace - open plan bench-style workstations, breakout areas and (minimal) individual offices. Open and democratic space reflects the bank's structure. Focus and Utility Rooms - These meeting points provide space for team interaction and a visible cue to the Bank's environmental efforts in recycling and conservation.

The design first established the context of ‘New Asian' identity then overlaid its culture.

Context comes from the geographies where DBS has a presence.  Topographical maps are overlaid on floors and ceilings to create contours of the DBS environment.

New Asian identity is expressed in built elements which sit in the contoured landscape.  These constructions include The Hub, Workspace and Focus Rooms. Born from the culture of Asian life, these spaces are inspired by (in order) the marketplace (commerce), arts and crafts (creativity), and meditation (contemplation).

Each is then realised in innovative ways to introduce diversity and vibrancy across eighteen floors. Examples include detailing of the marketplaces as ‘textile', ‘flower' and ‘spice' emporia, each theme influencing choice of materials, furnishings and accessories.