Changing perceptions & enhancing mobility for a technology-driven workspace

AllianceBernstein,
Hong Kong

As a leading global investment management and research firm, AllianceBernstein required a new workspace that would both encapsulate and advance its ability to bring together a wide range of insights, expertise and innovations for its clients across the globe.

Capturing spectacular views of Hong Kong’s natural landscape and glittering skyline, AllianceBerstein’s new workplace embraces “transparency”, creating a deep connection to the city in a change of both location and space. Transitioning from Central to Quarry Bay, the new office makes the shift from predominantly enclosed working areas to an open plan, collaborative and high technology-driven environment.

Changing perceptions & enhancing mobility for a technology-driven workspace section
Changing perceptions & enhancing mobility for a technology-driven workspace section

Addressing the challenge of change

Engagement with key business stakeholders began a year ahead of the relocation to address the high degree of resistance from employees. In the existing space, 67% of people had their own private office in a very traditional layout - a dramatic contrast to AllianceBernstein’s new workplace vision.

The M Moser team conducted activities to uncover organisational goals and gain a deeper understanding of the business, its culture and its people. Information gathering and analysis included interviews with key business leaders, surveys for all staff, space and storage audits and more.

Changing perceptions & enhancing mobility for a technology-driven workspace section

Following this, we explored the best practice of industry peers and evaluated the degree of change between the organisation’s existing and future aspirations. Further workshops with senior leaders and key influential users were held to confirm project goals and understand the culture of the business, and the opportunities and risks of its day-to-day operations.

The workplace design process involved all levels of the organisation; from the senior leadership, through business unit leaders, to end users in activities spanning strategy, technology, functional design and more. This helped to build excitement amongst staff through open communication and involvement in the design. 

Enhancing mobility through technology

Championing a mobile and collaborative approach to work, the implementation of technology has been key in shifting AllianceBernstein’s way of working in the new space. A new technology strategy was rolled out prior to the move, with the introduction of virtual desktops, headsets and curved screens to enhance staff mobility. Advance testing ensured any technical issues were ruled out before the relocation.

Taking inspiration from a rich, diverse landscape

Taking inspiration from its diverse surroundings, the space draws upon a distinct blend of urban elements. Providing immediate connection from the interior to the outside, the reception area features an undulating, angular ceiling, reminiscent of the complex mix of varying buildings experienced when meandering the city’s streets.

Organic forms combine with a natural colour scheme in blue and green tones, bringing to life the unique natural landscape of the city. Highlights in meeting rooms provide a consistent visual journey while softening the angular lines of the cityscape.

The ceiling of the café is based on a city grid, continuing the connection to the urban landscape. A mix of distinct shapes, neutral, earthy tones and expansive views to greenery bring a tranquil, open look-and-feel to the space - a perfect location for catching up with colleagues or focusing on quiet work in the booths overlooking the surrounding mountains.

The staircase centrepiece has a strong angular form as a pinnacle of the intersecting city concept. Interweaving the influence of nature through flowing water and greenery, strong lines are accented with softer furnishings and pops of colour.

Collaboration areas with a focus on open corner views, provide a softer, more organic feel. These spaces create indoor “retreats” for both teams and individuals to experience calming views of the harbour and surrounding mountains.

  • Status Completed
  • Area 32,000 sq-ft
  • Completion date 2017
  • Location Hong Kong
  • Awards

    IFMA Asia Pacific Best Facility Management Strategy Award

    AIA International Region Design Awards 2018 - Merit Award for Interior Architecture

    AIA International Region Design Awards 2018 - Sustainable Future Award

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