Ministry of Design have completed the interior design of the OCBC Campus in Singapore.

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Description from Ministry of Design

Located in a 10 storey building in the CBD, the new OCBC Campus houses a fully dedicated learning hub for OCBC Bank, a global leader in banking headquartered in Singapore.

OCBC Bank has always understood and supported the significance of continual learning throughout their employees’ careers – with each employee regularly receiving multiple learning opportunities. Having outgrown their previous learning facility, OCBC Bank approached MOD to strategize and design a new learning campus, which would not only yield more space, but more importantly, redefine the learning process and environment for greater relevance and effectiveness.

MOD began the process by analyzing OCBC Bank’s existing premises and pedagogical processes, interviewing both training facilitators and employees. One of the key conclusions from these observations was that the current generic classroom was restrictive both for the delivery of teaching materials as well as the active learning of the students.

MOD’s key response was to create a series of tailor-made environments best suited for enhanced learning, dynamic interaction and exchange, with all other design elements taking their lead from this. The resulting campus building straddles ten floors, including lounge and reception areas, an auditorium-cum-event space, six floors of dedicated learning labs and an office space for the OCBC Bank campus team; running programs for all strata of employees in OCBC Bank, from tellers to senior management, and their subsidiaries such as Great Eastern Holdings and the Bank of Singapore.

Situated at the southwest corner of a busy traffic intersection, the Campus’ highly visible glass encases the ground floor lounge and entryway, buffered by lush greenery and sits off a sheltered walkway. The main double-height lounge space is visually anchored by a hovering sculpture designed by MOD, called (R)evolve, made up of powder-coated red-and-white rings.

The building’s entry sequence features an Installation Art Wall, a back-lit glass wall incorporating a text-based art installation: a series of gently pulsing key words related to the learning experience, with each word chosen to evoke the spirit of learning (Question, Imagine, Explore). This corridor leads to the double-volume naturally lit Lounge, which is also equipped with a stage for evening events and a variety of social environments. Nestled to the north of the stage is a more intimately scaled secondary lounge space. This lounge experience continues onto a Mezzanine level overlooking the double-height void. Magazine racks and computer terminals provide a variety of ways to engage over a lunch or tea break.

Moving up a level, the entire third floor houses a dynamic Event Space which is flexible enough to hold large scale presentations of more than 200 guests or a series of smaller group gathering zones. This space would also cater to career fairs and open houses. Flexibility is achieved through a series sliding partition screens and loose furniture in different shapes and sizes. Key features include a ceiling trellis radiating to form an abstraction of the OCBC Bank’s logo as well as a permanent bar and server-counter. The OCBC Bank logo ceiling trellis is the second example of Installation art in the Campus.

About the R(evolve) sculpture
Dynamic Learning and Continual Growth – the two core values celebrated in this visually kinetic sculpture for the new OCBC Learning Campus. This site-specific sculpture was conceived as an emblem for the Campus and draws from the logo of OCBC Bank as its symbolic starting point. In the design, the logo’s various elements are individually abstracted but rooted around the familiar circle and is designed to celebrate the importance of each component – the voyaging junk, the vast undiscovered ocean and the open boundless sky.

Designed to be observed from a variety of vantage points, the sculpture seems to shift and twist kinetically. When observed from the ground looking upwards, the parts overlap and appear to pivot around the central spine, suggesting dynamic movement and continual change. Vertically arranged around the central axis, the elements become a collective entity signifying an upward movement and dynamic growth – echoing the vision for learning at the new OCBC campus. When viewed from the second floor, the perspective of the sculpture shifts and appears more horizontally stratified with the red and white stripes ascending from one layer to another – capturing the ethos of continual growth and learning.

Commissioned by OCBC Bank as a site-specific installation. Fabricated by DHdeco Pte Ltd.

Interior Design: Ministry of Design
Photography: Edward Hendricks