MOD weaves greenery into wealth banking hub

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
|
March 12, 2021 6:00 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Clients visiting 268 Orchard Road may think they have got the wrong address: Citibank’s wealth advisory hub, which spans 30,000 sq ft across four levels, looks like a garden. Designed by local architecture firm Ministry of Design (MOD), the site’s appearance was inspired by its soaring glass-lined atrium. “We created a lush thriving indoor conservatory and paired it with a series of lifestyle-inspired spaces nestled within or organised around it, such as an observation deck, feature bar, banquette seating, lounge niches and garden meeting pods,” says MOD.
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Citibank’s wealth advisory hub at 268 Orchard Road occupies some 30,000 sq ft over four levels (Credit: Ministry of Design)
On Level 7, the garden lounge hosts a cultured conservatory of tropical plants, anchored by a honed Grigio Carnico marble feature bar serving a selection of coffee and tea beverages. “The plants were chosen, apart from their colour and texture, for their well-tested ability to adapt to an air-conditioned environment, and thrive in the shade,” says MOD. The landscaping work was done by ICN Design International.
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The design utilises the site’s soaring glass-lined atrium to house a wide variety of plants (Credit: Ministry of Design)
On the same floor, there are also discussion pods nestled among the plants, which create an “alternative discussion environment to the conventional meeting room”, MOD says. Relationship managers can utilise the space — which comes equipped with curved OLED TV screens — to meet their clients. The pods feature glass slats at the top, to allow views of the greenery from the inside.
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Besides the garden pods, there is also a variety of enclosed meeting rooms, teller rooms, and two distinct multi-function rooms (seating six each), which can be combined to seat 42 people in a seminar-seating style. The multi-function rooms are equipped with full video-conferencing capabilities, TV screens and sound systems. These spaces also come with BoConcept Vienna swivel meeting chairs and Andreu World tables.
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The discussion pods feature glass slats at the top, to allow views of the greenery from the inside (Credit: Ministry of Design)
Level 7 of the wealth hub showcases the “most extensive planting”. The floor receives the most sunlight, as the walls and sky lights are made of glass. “Together with ICN Design, we took advantage of this condition and strove to create at least four vertical layers of planting scheme, from a taller betel nut feature palms at the peak, to a tall shrub or young elegant feathery parlour palms at the second level below the crowns, down to bushy saplings and big-leafed arums in the near foreground, and to the lowest feathery Boston ferns and rosette-leafed bird’s nest ferns and money plants, mostly jungle-floor plants at the edges,” describes MOD.
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The viewing deck from Level 8 offers sights of the garden lounge (Credit: Ministry of Design)

Workspaces with a choice of views

The wealth hub houses its staff on Levels 6 and 9, which feature hot-desking zones, meeting rooms and some fixed workstations. On Level 6, employees can choose from hot-desking areas facing the planter, or workspaces facing the glass walls overlooking Orchard Road. The collaboration tables, with Cosentino quartz table-tops, seat four to six people. For other teams who work from fixed workstations, these spaces are fitted with Herman miller chairs and tables and privacy pods for making phone calls. At the centre of Level 6, MOD intentionally mirrored the ceiling to match the building façade, and carved out a town-hall area for internal events. The two levels also come with lockers, to facilitate hot-desking for the long term, shares MOD.
Lights in the meeting rooms are activated or de-activated by movement. The lighting also shifts to match the temperature, and cools or warms throughout the day to match the movement of the sun.
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On Level 6, the main planter is surrounded by a series of hot-desking workspaces (Credit: Ministry of Design)
In keeping with the theme of the wealth hub, Levels 6 and 9 are also home to a wide array of plants. On Level 6, the main planter is surrounded by a series of hot-desking workspaces. It features feathery parlour palms, with long pendant leaflets, layered above the glossy foliage of Schefflera treelets to create texture and height variation, says MOD. To ensure healthy growth of the plants, special LED bulbs that mimic the energy waves of sunlight are installed alongside the open-ceiling lighting.