Sunday, September 7, 2008

DESA SIGMA, A traditional village compound landscaping for an office working environment.

As an Interior Designer for PTI Architect - Jakarta Indonesia, after the completion of Balicamp Project, I have assigned to deliver design consultancy services for their Sigma Group of IT Companies Office at German Center Building. This office building is situated at Serpong West Java, accessible approximately 2 hours form the center of Jakarta.

As usual, project brief is already prepared by the client including number of companies, department s, sub-divisions and persons that should be accommodated in tenancy offices. Total occupied tenancy space is approximately 3000 square meter. 2/3 part of the space is allocated for office space and rest of the area is allocated for Data Center and banking simulation system.

The unique thing was the client used a participative approach that identified each individual need of the user. In their questionnaire summary is noted that there was somebody’s need to bring his pet when he is working or even somebody want to park his bicycle nearby his working desk. Of course not of all these individual requirements could be accommodated, because some specific and technical reasons.

During the initial space planning stage, the client spontaneously declared that he want an office environment just something ‘dropped-down from the sky’. The office must be prepared as fully borderless office space for everybody. Somebody can work in certain place or desk today and then work in different place or desk next day where he like to work in. There will be no certain dedicated place for somebody in the office even he is a Director or just regular staff. Somebody just need to sit and turn-on the computer and then login into the networks. The office then intended to become more egalitarian working-space.

As Interior Designer I finally got the idea that it will be great should the office landscaping is generated simply just like a traditional compound in Indonesia. Usually, traditional compound is consisting of paddy field, cassava plantation, dwelling blocks, small school, mosque, public hall and traditional market that related with branches of village roads and maybe separated with the existence of small river or lake. This idea is accepted by the client!
And then the office layout is developed as metaphor of the traditional village. Paddy field is become metaphor for working cluster of the business unit. Each paddy field or business unit need to be explored as profit center. Corridors are generated just like the shape of road in the village that connecting every paddy fields to other place of activities. Even there are ponds with fish could be found in the office as simple metaphor for river or lake in the village. Before entering the office at the center area there are timber bridges over the ponds. In central meeting room, a bike park facility is also provided to anticipate if somebody will come into the meeting by riding bike from far-end side of the office area.

Every working clusters have their own meeting places that differed from one to another. Since the office environment finally become a large open landscaping office space, this is useful to define a certain place when somebody making an appointment to have a meeting. The meeting room enclosure itself is designed based on the idea of local traditional dwelling unit, made from bamboo weaving wall and combined with timber floor, fabric ceiling and glass.

Lighting Designer actually elaborate the strong vernacular character of the office design with several unique detail treatments for lighting fixtures. Bamboo materials are widely used as casing for hanging fluorescent lamps and as a kind of post for street lamps along certain corridors. There also antique head lamps from colonial bicycle that used for task lighting at brainstorming room.

Whether the project generally was successful to accommodate the unique idea exploration, not all of the idea could be implemented properly, because Interior Designer’s scope of work is limited only in the design development stage. Anyway, it was great working together with client with distinctive and progressive way of thinking, particularly in related with how they determining their approach of corporate working environment in a very specific manners.

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