For a design firm, creativity is connected to productivity. The office of designpartners Indonesia (DPI), an interior design consultantcy firm, evinces this with an engaging environment and a space that exudes comfort akin to a second home.
Photo by Bagus Tri Laksono
Located in Intiland Tower in Jakarta’s Sudirman Central Business District, the firm’s headquarters occupies the building’s 12A floor. DPI has had the same office for 25 years and has done six renovations to improve the office fit out. The most recent renovation, completed in March 2016, implements a new office concept.
While the office initially had dimensions of 450 sqm, renovations reduced the space by 20 percent, effectively leaving it an optimized and compact 360 sqm. Meanwhile, seating was reduced from 48 to 36 chairs, although this does not create problems for the firm’s 44 workers, as DPI has applied a modern office system.
Under the new “agile” or activity-based working and open concept, a specific space no longer need be dedicated for a single person, since anyone can occupy any available room or desk. “There is no more differences in status, or a question of who is in the upper position and who is in the lower position, because the position, size and type of the desks are uniform throughout the office, and are placed in one large open area,” Naila Djatnika, principal designer of DPI, says. From studio workers to managing director, everyone can use the same workstations and work together in the same area. “Why do staff members need desks, when in reality they spend most of their time going out for meetings with clients or away on project locations?”
Another adjustment made during the renovation was the elimination of a receptionist’s desk. Initially there was a reception area and meeting room in the front while the pantry and staff breakout area were in the back and only used as a dining and discussion spot for staff. Similarly, the meeting room was previously only used for guests. With the renovation, the pantry and breakout area have been repositioned to the front, resulting in a clean and convenient spot that can be used by everyone—a communal space for social interaction that combines the functions of a pantry, dining area and meeting place.
After the breakout area is a lounge that doubles as a reception area and a small meeting room. The DPI utility room is further to the front, adjacent to the main entrance. This was a bold, not to mention shrewd, decision, as it keeps the room functioning normally as a place to serve various office needs, such as making copies, while at the same time the utility staff can also act as receptionists to greet guests. The layout smartly exploits space constraints, something that can only be done by experts.
Going from the corridor toward the workstations is line of white lockers for employees. The lockers can be written on and plastered with various messages, making the area vibrant and colorful. Before the work area is a media station with a TV screen. The station can be turned into a workdesk, discussion table, a space for design presentations or even an attractive meeting point.
Just behind is a bench area where sample materials are spread for everyone to see. The place comes with a storage area with an open shelf system for each project, making the area appear pristine and smart. The area is adjacent to large shelves and compactus mobile shelving units that line the surrounding walls. A large meeting room is at the end. With its large capacity, the area can also be used as a workstation when desks are occupied.
Unique seats have deployed as accents, adding to the decorative element and creating visual attractions for the room. The front is a waiting lounge for visiting guests, while to the rear, near the mushola (prayer room), is a seating area for people waiting to worship. Another seating area can be found facing the window—a solitary desk and chair set up for those wanting to spread open a large design schematic, or who want to find inspiration by immersing themselves in the beautiful view of downtown Jakarta.
DPI used locally sourced furniture made of solid teak for an exciting appearance, while ensuring that recyclable element was used for each piece. One example is an old dining table, which has been repurposed and placed in a meeting room. Chairs also showcase traditional Indonesian characteristics, and are dominated by wood and coupled with other solid surface materials, for a dynamic and attractive look.
For this renovation, mosaic tiles lining the pantry’s walls have been replaced by recycled teak from Indonesia, continuing the wood-themed design. DPI also used a vinyl finishing resembling timber in some spots for durability, low maintenance–and to create a warm appearance. Unlike plywood or teak, which are difficult to care for, vinyl is easy to clean.
The office’s contemporary design ethos is more than superficial, extending even to recycling. In addition to reusing old items that have been modified or repurposed into useful elements, several implementations using paper waste were also prepared in special containers. The team dynamic has been improved by a music library, where staff can enter their favorite tunes into a shared playlist to be listened together.
Implementing a modern, open office concept has led to more creativity, communication and productivity. Meanwhile, the stresses stemming from creative work have been eased, thanks to a comfortable office getup with comprehensive facilities that foster a feeling of a second home for the designers.
Designparners Indonesia Office
Intland Tower, 12A Level, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 32, Jakarta
Semi Gross Floor Area
Designpartners Indonesia (PT Desain Paramitra Indonesia)
Interior Design Consultant
PT Gema Graha Sarana