Fidelity International’s new office in Gurgaon is a creative and functional workplace. The former office of this global asset management company, which has been in India for over 17 years, was designed in the traditional style. Thus, with the new workplace, the challenge was to bring the company’s diverse employee groups together and to create a space that appeals to millennials.

“During the design process, the pivotal goals were to fuel innovation and create a social work environment that promoted and supported collaborative experiences. Additionally, the new office space needed to reflect Fidelity International’s values, culture, purpose and attitude,” said Sunil Dhawan, director, Corporate Services, Fidelity International.

SWBI Architects were given charge to design the over 2.5 lakh square feet space, which, across nine floors, would accommodate 2,400+ employees.

For the global financial services organisation, the idea of an open, globally connected, technologically powered office with no hierarchy and no cabins, not even for the country head, took root. Every aspect - right from the spaces designed for global collaboration and fostering innovation to co-located, cross-functional teams - was decided on the basis of employee feedback and usage.

A well planned ratio of 1:2 between discussion zones to workstations provided a balanced work zone. Today, the new office is a place where technology comes together with design to create a social work environment created for collaborative experiences.

The facility aims to empower its employees to choose their own space by offering unassigned seating and lockers. Additionally, the office uses state-of-the-art technology to help employees work most effectively. The facility is designed to be a high-performing workspace. The free and open seating design provides flexibility and movement. The advanced technology and fully integrated audio-visual equipment allows for seamless working with the company’s globally dispersed teams.

The open plan gives employees an opportunity to move past traditional workspace layouts and provides a variety of fluid spaces to prompt “corridor conversations” in the facility.

The easily accessible collaboration spaces, evenly distributed all over the floors, provide for agile zones that increase productivity, whereas the provision of height adjustable workstations offers ergonomic comfort.

Fidelity’s employees have frequent “team-huddle” and “town-hall” meetings. Therefore, the floors are designed to be flexible. Using sliding and folding walls between meeting rooms and collaboration zones, some work floors allow for 90 to 100 people to gather together comfortably. Moreover, the food and beverage areas have been strategically placed away from work-hall spaces to increase mobility.

The interior styling gives the space a contemporary and industrial look. High-quality, durable fit and finish were installed to match the company’s global office standards with a colour scheme that ignites a positive, regenerative and uplifting vibe.

To keep with the design brief and global standards, a contemporary design with an exposed ceiling had to be employed. It was achieved using cloud ceilings, metal meshceiling tiles and perforated wooden panels.

For a cleaner ceiling, a raised floor facility and deco ducts were chosen. The final look was supported by colourful fabric panelling, furniture and a customised carpet. The use of perforated laminate panels and ribbed laminate panel cladding aided in creating an aesthetic and acoustically sound setup. The project was successfully delivered, using highly durable and low maintenance materials and furniture, making it a robust and sophisticated workplace. 

Please note the article was originally published in the June 2018 edition of Commercial Design magazine.

The opinions expressed are author's own. Fidelity International is not responsible for the author's opinions.