The client's main objectives were to create an open-plan office space that promoted collaboration and a sense of community within the bank.
The biggest challenge the HASSELL team faced was how to incorporate innovative design features to break down the traditional silos that characterised most banking workplaces.
Inspiration for the design came from the contrast between the history of the Dutch bank, which dates back to 1765, and the high-tech modernity of the Hong Kong finance industry. The stark opposites of natural, low-lying Netherlands and concrete, vertical Hong Kong also drove the creative concept.
The use of natural materials in the fitout drew heavily from the Dutch love of nature and history of land and water conservation. The interconnecting staircase referenced the details of canal boats in Amsterdam, while curved partitions across meeting rooms and office fronts created intriguing spaces while directing the viewer's gaze to dramatic views of Hong Kong's skyline and harbour.
Quiet rooms, meeting spaces, a large shared breakout area, and a trading area which featured a fish tank were created - promoting interaction and collaboration.
The original open-plan brief had to be revised to accommodate the private banking department's need for semi-enclosed workstations. This was achieved by co-opting the necessary space from an under-utilised corridor.
HASSELL worked with an art consultant to select vibrant and contemporary artwork from the bank's collection in the Netherlands for the Hong Kong office. Graphic walls exploring Dutch and Hong Kong landmarks, world-class Dutch furniture, fittings and finishes also featured prominently.
Fast-growing carbonised bamboo, planter boxes for better air quality, smart lighting controls, eco-friendly fabrics and furniture were among other features that ensure the project achieved a LEED-CI Gold sustainability rating.