From the architect. HASSELL designed the new workplace for dtac, one of Thailand’s leading telecommunication providers, to accommodate 3,500 staff occupying 62,000 sqm over 20 floors.
The dtac corporate philosophy of ‘play and learn’ is successfully reflected in the design, challenging conventional notions of arrival, meeting, concentration and relaxation spaces. This was the principal aim of the new workplace - to communicate the philosophy to both staff and visitors.
The client requested an environment to develop and encourage this approach, and it is clearly evident in the creativity and enthusiasm of the dtac staff. In many areas it has also enabled spaces to be defined as volumes, rather than defined through their function. An example is the extensive three-level open front-of-house space linked by a new internal feature stairway which provides a highly adaptable space to support dtac’s varied promotional activities and able to host a wide variety of client and staff events.
Intensive project team and base building consultation and integration was required to achieve this structurally. The voluminous space and large void spans approximately eighty meters. The selective placement of bridges within the void are located to maximise circulation and sight lines, while also concealing critical structural bracing.
The team-based environments created by HASSELL encourage dtac staff to be mobile and creative in their choice of work space; whether at their workpoint, in a meeting lounge or on the open terrace overlooking Bangkok’s skyline. Open workspaces supplemented with indoor plants, and the incorporation of a dedicated relaxation and fitness floor, further enhance staff amenity and promotes a healthy work environment.
The majority of materials and loose furniture were sourced locally. This was informed by both the client’s aesthetic design direction and their preference to support Thai products and designers.
The rich and varied use of local timbers, for the flooring, screening and ceiling battens, provides direction and framework across this activity-based workplace. Locally made cotton and silk fabrics were also used throughout the fitout. It was realised from the outset that imported materials and loose furniture would not only hinder progress but also affect the budget. Instead, custom joinery was applied in many areas and resulted in an integrated and concept driven approach.
Efficiency in the overall timeline and budget, in addition to the aspirational brief, was required by the client. Both were heavily relied upon to realise the short one year timeframe from winning the design competition to occupation. A phased construction program was implemented to maximise contractor productivity and competitiveness. In total there were four different contractors over a three phase construction program, driven by the client’s business group needs. In keeping with dtac’s marketing philosophy of being accessible to everyone, the fitout was also produced to a modest budget to benefit all.